A Wagga punter has been embroiled in a gambling scandal that saw $111,000 traded on his online account without his knowledge.
Removalist Ron Lee has accused a top William Hill executive of turning a blind eye to scammers, who gained access to his dormant account and made 185 bets.
After raising red flags, Mr Lee was sold an elaborate lie and given $5000 cash in the hope he would keep his mouth shut.
Mr Lee joined William Hill in October in exchange for $10,000 credit and a further $1000 of free bonus bets, $999 of which he spent on horses running in the Victoria Derby and Cox Plate.
Last Friday Mr Lee felt like another flutter, so called William Hill for an account balance and was stunned to hear there was only $60 to his name.
Alarm bells rang when the operator claimed Mr Lee’s client betting statement showed line bets on National Basketball Association (NBA) matches between teams he’d never heard of.
After venting his outrage, a man who Mr Lee claimed introduced himself as a supervisor explained the account was under investigation and the discrepancy would be rectified.
That night a second man called Mr Lee in tears, claiming he was a rogue William Hill employee who made the fraudulent bets to feed a gambling addiction.
“He was bawling and promised he'd have all the money back in the account by Monday afternoon; he even offered to come to Wagga,” Mr Lee said.
The next day Mr Lee was copied into an email exchange between the two men, in which the alleged supervisor told the second man he was sacked and needed to repay the debt by Monday.
Mr Lee claims the alleged supervisor followed the email with a phone call, saying “this will all be sorted out and you’ll also get a little bit of cash in your savings account to do what you want with”.
A photo sent by text message from the alleged supervisor’s phone shows a deposit slip for $9980 – the balance of the debt – into William Hill’s bank account.
Another photo from the alleged supervisor shows a deposit slip transferring $5000 into Mr Lee’s personal Bendigo Bank account, which cleared on Monday with the second man’s name as the reference.
Mr Lee claims a senior William Hill executive then called and sidestepped questions about whether the $5000 was hush money, simply responding “just enjoy it”.
William Hill’s media and communications manager James Burroughs denies either of the conmen have ever been employed by the betting agency.
“All we can say is that it’s the responsibility of individual customers to maintain the integrity of their account,” Mr Burroughs said.
When The Daily Advertiser contacted the alleged supervisor, he sheepishly confirmed he did not work for William Hill, said he could not talk while riding the train and hung up.
The second man could not be contacted.
The senior William Hill executive in question refused an interview.
Neither of the conmen can be named for legal reasons.
William Hill has close to 247,900 active customers.