This article is a more detailed report on the matters raised in the email sent to members today.
Members might wish read this in conjunction with the previous article on the site regarding Aspire Racing and Genesis System. I will detail things again here but it is important that the connection is made between the operations being discussed.
John Hughes first came to my attention early in 2017 when an individual asked me to check if the operation was legitimate. A quick look at the documents offering the “service” would make most wary but as it seems that the targets of the snail mail campaign were those who had expressed interest in making cash from home chances are that not too many were betting system regulars.
To summarise he wants you to send him cash and he will then place this on horses selected by his team with a view to making you huge profits. This is the latest offer sent to a largely unsuspecting audience:
The headlines all contain claims that are not substantiated and when I asked Hughes for past results he advised that “being old school and knowing how figures can be manipulated or simply manufactured I do not give out reams of results” – that in itself should be enough to warn you off this scheme but he then points out that there has to be a certain degree of trust involved. Well yes – and it is all one way as the investor has to trust Hughes to do what he says he will!
My initial reaction to seeing the invitation was that such a scheme would need to be licensed – logically by the Gambling Commission but at the very least by the Financial Conduct Authority as the individual is seeking funds from the general public for investment purposes. The Gambling Commission say it is outside their sphere of control – why? I hear you say – and the FCA did ask for details so it could check on the position but advised it would not let us know of the outcome of their enquiries either way. Really helpful and hardly a way of encouraging the public to report matters of concern.
But Hughes managed to come up with the answer himself because it turns out that if you do invest you need to give him daily permission to place the specific bets that are advised to you. He told an investor that this was specifically to overcome the need for him to be registered as a collective investment scheme (which it obviously is despite the wriggling that he is doing). He clearly knows he is sailing close to the wind here.
But perhaps all this does not matter if he is making the profits claimed and remitting these to his investors? Hardly – in the first instance he managed to lose 100% of people’s investment and then asked them for more to try and recover the situation. He cannot provide results but I was able to monitor his performance for a period and the results were pathetic losing 80% of the starting bank within 19 days. The summary results may be seen here: Aspire
The initial Aspire service has been discussed on several review sites and the consensus of opinion is that all these services come from the same source. The layout of the invitations is identical with some tinkering of the potential returns between offers. All use the same bank branch for receiving funds and the addresses quoted on the invitations are each Mail Boxes Etc premises where you can make use of facilities to effectively remain anonymous. All have apparent contact phone numbers but if you try and call you receive an asaphone message telling you to email them with questions and advise a phone number if you want a call back. I am still awaiting responses from all 3 of the services!
In the meantime I thought I might see how the police investigation is progressing via Action Fraud as I am aware that several investors have reported the matter to them and made sure that the instances are cross referred. It seems that there is not a great deal going on there either – after 3 months a complainant received a report which basically said they have got other things more pressing but will carry on as time permits. Again very disappointing but all the more reason why we need any victims of this fraudster to make reports to the police and FCA. I have the case references for each body and if you contact me directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) I will let you have the details you need. Reporting does not take long and could be vital in bringing justice to bear on Hughes.
Please also add your comments to the thread so that others know what to expect.
I mentioned earlier that the services have been promoted via snail mail using glossy printed brochures designed specifically to appeal to those likely to be less experienced in the sports betting field. My investigations show that the most likely source of the mailing list is a company called Streetwise who are known for bombarding any client or enquirer with other “opportunities” as well as selling their list which they are able to do because they do not belong to the Direct Marketing Association. Of the numerous informants that I have regarding Hughes activities all have been on the Streetwise list at some point. Many of the web based schemes we look at are really little more than email address gathering exercises and you should all be aware that your personal details have value to the suppliers who collect them – always take the utmost care to protect your identity until you know you can rely on the other party.
As indicated earlier I am very surprised that the Gambling Commission do not regulate such offers – and indeed many more of the services promoted across the board. I will keep chipping away at them as well but the main hope of this article is that we will save someone from losing their cash to this odious man.