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Racing software blag turns sour

Odds-on you'd have to be an idiot to fall for that sort of thing anyway

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A scamster who sold software that "guaranteed" success when having a flutter on the horses has been banned from being a company director for 13 years. Kevin John Robinson's West End company, Comstrad, sold get-rich-quick horse-racing software at £3300 a pop to gamblers. He also flogged pools programmes for £9995. In total, £4.5 million of software was shifted to at least 2000 people, said the Department of Trade and Industry in today's Financial Times. The company was wound up by the High Court in October 1996 with debts of £457,233, excluding claims from customers. The court found Comstrad had carried on its business by conducting a serious fraud on the public. Before it was closed down, Comstrad was visited by a journalist from Personal Computer World magazine who was shown around offices in London's exclusive St. James's. He reported a scheme where punters used a £500 stake pool to back only the three biggest-money races on Saturdays. Each bet had to be exactly five per cent of the remaining pool, with Comstrad promising to return any initial losses. Even in a worst case scenario, this still left the company with around £2500 cash from each customer. The software itself also left a lot to be desired. The DOS-based program had no database, no way of saving a horse's record and no means of accessing online information. The Register would like to say that it in no way condones betting, but a search of our own database today threw up the favourite at the 5.30 at Chepstow. ®

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