West Midlands man won £218,000, blown it all and then scammed 25 people from Sunderland with SnapChat

A gambling addict began defrauding people out of money after squandering over £200,000 which he won from the Lottery and betting

Reece Casey scammed £34,000 from 25 victims on Wearside – some of who were long-standing family friends – by claiming he could get them a 40% discount from luxury clothing company Flannels. The 31-year-old left his trusting victims out of pocket after defrauding them via Snapchat in June, last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that in 2018, Casey had won £54,000 from betting firm William Hill, before going on to pocket a massive £164,000 a year later on the EuroMillions.

But despite his wins, Casey “squandered” it all on gambling, before deciding to start scamming people.

Casey appeared at the court on Tuesday to be sentenced for fraud. He had pleaded guilty to the single charge at a previous hearing.

Katie Spence, prosecuting, said Casey defrauded 25 people in Sunderland out of a total of £34,000 after advertising on Snapchat that he could get a 40% reduction at Flannels as he had a friend who worked there.

She said: “A friend of the defendant responded to the offer and ordered multiple items. He also ordered items for other friends and family.” Ms Spence added that those who had been defrauded had sent their money to Casey.

The court heard that one woman sent over £4,500 to Casey, with another woman buying items using an inheritance she received from her mum who had passed away. Another woman lost money after buying items for her husband’s birthday.

Kelly Sherif, defending, said Casey had shown “extreme remorse” and said he was unaware there were so many victims as he had only dealt with three personally. She said he had an “entrenched lifestyle of gambling”, which he started when he was 15 years old.

She said: “In 2018, he won £58,000 from William Hill and in 2019 won £164,000 on the EuroMillions, and he squandered that money on betting. At that time, he realised his gambling addiction was extremely bad and he put several blocks in place to exclude himself from gambling.”