A bogus racing tipster who misled thousands of people has been served with an injunction by the High Court.
Wesley Beagley, a trader from Brighton, sent out mailings offering horse racing tipster services under the names ‘Anthony Cochrane’, ‘Michael Rose Investments’ and ‘Jonathan Wells’. But none of these men actually existed.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) took action against Mr Beagley when they found that he was deliberately giving the impression that these were real people with a detailed knowledge of racing with access to inside information.
Mr Beagley falsely claimed that his alias ‘Anthony Cochrane’ owned ‘a team of racing horses’ and had until recently ridden ‘regularly for some of the biggest and most successful trainers in England’ as well as being involved with ‘some of the biggest gambles in racing history’.
The cost of membership to these bogus services was up to £590. The OFT estimates that more than 3,000 people were duped by Mr Beagley; netting him at least £175,000.
Unsuspecting punters were drawn in by promises that they could make ‘up to £10,000 a week’ or ‘a minimum of £47,000 in 30 days’. Mr Beagley could provide no evidence to substantiate these claims, some of which he has since admitted he borrowed from other brochures.
Mr Beagley is now prohibited from having any involvement in any other misleading campaigns. If he breaches this injunction he could be fined or imprisoned.
Mike Haley, OFT Head of Consumer Protection said: “These were highly misleading mailings that used fictitious names and false claims to lure customers into sending money in the belief that they would make large profits from a tipster service. We will continue to crack down on similarly misleading mailings.”