Bankrupt boss of Layezy Racing syndicate admits he owes £22m to thousands of members
- Mike Stanley’s betting syndicate was closed down after Sportsmail investigation
- Former police officer declared himself bankrupt owing £22million to members
- He told insolvency practitioners he failed to deal with membership growth
- Thousands fear they were unwitting victims of a Ponzi scheme run by Stanley
Mike Stanley, whose betting syndicate Layezy Racing was closed down after a Sportsmail investigation, declared himself bankrupt owing £22million to syndicate members, it has emerged.
The former Kent Police officer told insolvency practitioners he had ‘computer problems’ and that the business had become too big to manage, with the membership having grown to 4,500 in the last year.
Mr Stanley told case officers that when he forgot to put on a bet he would input information on his computer, which would incorrectly show members their money was going up.
Sportsmail revealed earlier this year that thousands of hard-working individuals in Kent and Essex had invested their savings in the betting syndicate, which operated on a word-of-mouth basis and had a rewards scheme to incentivise recommending friends and family.
Many now fear they were the victims of a Ponzi scheme. Mr Stanley has been questioned by police and a search warrant executed on his house in Maidstone, Kent.
A report by the Insolvency Register says there may be a shortfall on the £22m but that was the figure Mr Stanley had given.
Mike Stanley, the owner of betting syndicate Layezy Racing, declared himself bankrupt
Indeed, some members were initially told by administrators Duff and Phelps that the liabilities from the syndicate could be as much as £80m.
It has been estimated by case officers that Mr Stanley, who also founded the Layezy Racing Owners Club with 23 horses, has more than £2m in assets, including £1m in freehold property, an £80,000 Rolex watch and two cars worth a combined £98,000.
He has 23 personal bank accounts but the balances are unknown.
The report, which has been circulated to syndicate members, says: ‘When asked what his salary was from the business, he said he took what he needed at the time.
‘He said all properties were financed through the business and towards the end it became a pot, using it for everything.
The former police officer told insolvency practitioners he had ‘computer problems’
‘The owners club was set up to care for the horses; the syndicate money was used to purchase the horses.’
The report also states: ‘In addition to the assets mentioned above, I have been made aware there is also $482,309.51 in Bitcoins and £52,315.47 in Ethereum to be realised depending on their current value. There is £118,393.91 in foreign exchange, €555,095.88 in silver bullion and $100,000 in an investment account in Australia.
‘All of these matters and the realisable value the trustees of Mr Stanley’s bankruptcy are dealing with.’