|Britain’s most insistent gambling con artist is on the loose in the UK. Pencil Man, aka John Bailey, has made an estimated $1.5 million in gambling fraud in his time. Over 10,000 UK bookmakers were warned he’s at large, receiving emergency alerts via satellite.|
Known for his charming ways and sleight of hand, Pencil Man’s scam involves making seemingly harmless bets. However whilst at the counter he swipes the carbon copy of the bet and later returns when he knows the winners of the race. Bailey then adds a further more complicated bet to both copies and slips the stolen carbon copy back across the counter after distracting staff with his charming banter. Though he has been known to place large losing bets to avoid suspicion he always makes a decent winning.
Late last month Bailey failed to show for a hearing where he was likely to receive a substantial jail sentence. He had been found guilty at Grimsby Crown Court of conning two bookmakers in Humberside out of $65,000 (£40,000).
Pencil Man was last spotted in two betting shops in Co Kildare of the Irish Republic. This is despite having his passport confiscated and being banned by law from every UK bookmaker.
Warwick Bartlett, chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers: 'If there was an Olympic Games for conmen, I am sure he would get gold. There is not one part of the country where he has not been active.”