Winchester Crown Court Orders Former British Army Major to Pay Over £145,500 for Gambling Addiction-Fuelled Fraud

Winchester Crown Court Orders Former British Army Major to Pay Over £145,500 for Gambling Addiction-Fuelled Fraud

Winchester Crown Court Orders Former British Army Major to Pay Over £145,500 for Gambling Addiction-Fuelled Fraud Last week, the Winchester Crown Court ruled that Thomas Meggison, a veteran who used to serve in the British Army in Iraq, has three months to pay over £145,500 for defrauding the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force. As reported by the Hampshire Chronicle, nearly £110,000 of the money will be given as compensation to the cadet force.

Earlier this year, the former military Major from Harestock, Winchester, was found guilty of stealing over £102,500 from the cadet force in order to pay off his gambling debts, and was served a suspended sentence of 21 months. After last week’s hearing, he will need to complete 200 hours of community payback, and failure to pay the entirety of the £145,543 sum will lead to three years in prison.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Peter Balls OBE, who was a character witness in the case, said that the news of Meggison’s fraud had come as “a complete shock” for the Rifles Regiment Meggison used to serve with. As reported by the Daily Mail, however, he did also add that it is not rare for veterans to fall victim to addiction.

After reprimanding Meggison for his actions, Judge Paul Dugdale also noted how addiction is something that war veterans are susceptible to and that the potential risks associated with gambling warrant for its proper regulation. Such statements are backed by research, seeing as a 2021 study by Swansea University found that over 40% of retired soldiers in the UK are victims of gambling harm.

Meggison Stole From the Cadet Force 36 Times

Meggison Stole From the Cadet Force 36 TimesMeggison’s fraudulent actions began in 2018, when the addiction to online gambling he had been struggling with for years got out of control. According to the Prosecution, he was able to steal the funds due to having been left as the only individual in charge of the cadet force’s account following the retirement of another account executive. This allowed Meggison to make a total of 36 payments to himself over the course of two years. In addition to using the stolen money for gambling debt settlement, Meggison also sent his son £8,000 to pay for a house deposit.

The consequences have been severe. As stated by an administration officer at the Isle of Wight-based cadet force, Theresa Farmer, during the December hearing, the institution was forced to reduce activities in the summer, and she added that the institution would need around half a decade to achieve financial recovery.

Meggison has thus far been successful in repaying £9,000. In addition, by working as a delivery driver, he has been able to accumulate £36,000 in savings, according tothe Defence. The Rifles Regiment has also expressed intentions to aid Meggison in paying the cadet force via a loan.

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.

Daniel Williams

Author: Jerry Lewis