Crooked Ladbrokes cashier, 22, paid £1 million to gangsters posing as punters

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A crooked Ladbrokes cashier paid out over £1m in three hours by recording ineligible betting slips on horse races as winners, a court heard.

Paris Markham, 22, accepted 22 slips on £90 to £95 tricast bets which each made between £5,000 and £100,000, jurors heard.

She was part of a conspiracy with ex-boyfriend Aurica Vaduva, 23, and Daniel Constantin, 28, which enabled the scammers to blow a fortune on luxury goods.

Markham admits assisting in the plot to defraud her employers, but claims she was threatened by men on the street as she made her way to work.

Constantin has admitted conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and will be sentenced at the end of the trial at Wood Green Crown Court.

Corinne Bramwell, prosecuting, said an organised criminal gang worked together to "defraud a betting company out of just over £1 million", during the course of a few hours on 30 June 2019 from a Ladbrokes betting shop in Edmonton.

She branded Markham the "inside woman" of the operation.

"Over the course of approximately three hours, between 2pm and 5pm, customer services manager Paris Markham, fraudulently paid out a series of 22 winning bets to the total value of just over a million pounds to the organised crime group members who posed as customers.

"In reality the monies that were obtained were transferred into the bank accounts of these defendants.

"It was moved in credit transactions, cash withdrawals, foreign currency purchases and purchases of high value goods such as luxury motor vehicles, either on the same day of the fraud or the day after.

"(Markham) used her position to facilitate the transaction of hundreds of thousands of pounds to the other members. Without her, the fraud would not have been possible.

"It's not in dispute that Ms Markham made those payments or that they were fraudulent.

"She has pleaded not guilty because says she was behaving in the way she did because she was threatened on the street on the way to work. She asserts therefore that she was acting under duress.

"The horse racing betting slips were handed to Ms Markham. The bets placed are known as tricast bets, on the first, second and third place of a race.

"In this case, bets placed either in the sum of £90 or £95, with returns of approximately £5,000 and £100,000 for a single transaction.

"The betting slips and therefore the actual bets placed in this fraud were deliberately illegible. If the proper procedure had been followed those betting slips would have been invalidated and in the course of policy, should not have been accepted.

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"Following the race, the slip was recorded as having been a winning bet, improperly and fraudulently, in abuse of Ms Markham's position as an employee, she transferred the winnings to co-conspirators."

Vaduva is accused of possessing £139,732.80 and of laundering a further £21,000.

Markham, of Thomas More Way, Barnet, and Vaduva, of Great Cambridge Road, Enfield, deny conspiracy to commit fraud.

Vaduva denies further counts of conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property; possessing criminal property; and concealing, disguising, converting or transferring criminal property.

Constantin's brother's girlfriend Arabela Stoica, 22, and Vaduva's associate Somaila Radu, 29, are accused of possessing and laundering the winnings.

Stoica allegedly had two sums totalling £292,538.40 and laundered a further £173,490. Radu allegedly had £135,556 in his account and laundered a further £20,480.

Stoica, of Belvedere Road, Leyton, denies conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property; one count of concealing, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property; and two counts of possessing criminal property.

Radu, of Warwick Road, Enfield, denies conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert or transfer criminal property; one count of possessing criminal property; and one count of concealing, disguising, converting or transferring criminal property.

The trial continues.

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