Police arrest suspect for New York marathon scam
Police have arrested the director of a sporting events company on suspicion of fraud after more than 70 people were duped into bogus entries for the New York marathon.
The man, understood to be Spanish, used the money to fund betting sprees on a British-based gambling site.
Police in Spain say the suspect was arrested in Madrid and is believed to have charged unsuspecting amateur athletes around 1,000 euros a time for an entry into the famous race but they were never made.
He claimed the money would be used to fund their registration, travel and training workshops.
He advertised the “golden opportunity” through a specific website and also via the social networks.
“The man claimed he was running a foundation which brought famous events like the New York marathon within the reach of ordinary people,” said a police spokesman. “He said he had sponsorship deals and contacts with many well-known charities.”
The offer made on the website was for a price of 700 euros which later rose to 1,000 euros, still half the price people would normally expect to pay.
He claimed the amount was low because of sponsorship deals and that foundations and charities were funding the other half.
“Buyers” received regular emails over a number of months giving them bogus preparation reports.
However, the moment the suspect received any money, they were channelled into a British betting site.
Police say the scam was deliberately arranged to feed the man’s habit.