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Arboretum Sports (UK) Ltd

The SFO, in conjunction with Hampshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Group, investigated the affairs of Arboretum Sports (UK) Limited. The company ran, under the guise of an Arbitrage gambling scheme, what was in fact a Ponzi fraud between January 2004 and December 2010. David Gerald Dixon created the scheme through Arboretum Sports (UK) Limited and Arboretum Sports (USA) Incorporated. Through those companies, collectively referred to as ‘Arboretum Sports’, victims were induced into placing money into what they were told was a no-risk gambling syndicate with the potential for dramatic rates of return. In reality, the scheme was a dishonest vehicle for Mr Dixon to appropriate the funds of its members. Arboretum Sports (UK) Ltd went into liquidation in 2007, and shortly thereafter Mr Dixon fled to Malaysia. He was arrested by the Royal Malaysian Police in September 2014 and extradited to the UK.

Mr Dixon was charged with 13 counts of multi-million pound fraud in September 2014. He pleaded guilty to five of the counts on 23 March 2015.

He was sentenced to three years and 10 months’ custody on each count, to run concurrently, and has been disqualified from serving as a company director for 10 years.

On 11 July 2017, David Gerald Dixon had his default prison sentence of two years activated by the court today for failure to pay a £275,000 confiscation order and will still remain liable for the full amount of £275,000 arising from the confiscation order, once this sentence is served.

Defendants

David Gerald Dixon

Four charges of contravening the general prohibition on carrying on a regulated activity contrary to Sections 19 and 23 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Dishonestly concealing a material fact, contrary to Section 397(1) and (2) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000

Fraud by false representation, contrary to Section 1(1) and Section (2) of the Fraud Act 2006

Two charges of converting criminal property, contrary to Section 327(1)(c) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Removing criminal property, contrary to Section 327(1)(e) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Fraudulent trading, contrary to Section 993(1) of the Companies Act 2006

Outcome of criminal case

Mr Dixon pleaded guilty and was sentenced on one count of dishonestly concealing a material fact contrary to s397 FSMA 2000; three counts of making a statement, promise or forecast known to be materially misleading, false or deceptive contrary to s397 FSMA 2000 and one count of fraud by false representation contrary to s1 Fraud Act 2006.

Sentencing

Mr Dixon was convicted and sentenced to 3 years and two months to run concurrently, for counts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9. In addition, Mr Dixon was disqualified from being a company director for ten years.

Serious Crime Prevention Order

In October 2015 the Serious Fraud Office applied for a Serious Crime Prevention Order prohibiting Mr Dixon from undertaking certain activities in order to protect the public from the risk of further offending. His Honour Judge McCreath, The Honourable Recorder of Westminster, imposed the Serious Crime Prevention Order on Mr Dixon for 5 years following Dixon’s release from prison on license (except for release on temporary license). The Serious Crime Prevention Order came into force on 30 March 2016.

The SCPO prohibits David Dixon from:

  1. Engaging in any betting or gambling activity, whether on his own part or on the part of another;
  2. Setting up, operating, advising on, promoting, or soliciting participation by any third party in, any investment scheme, or purported investment scheme, which involves the prospect of profit and/or the risk of loss.

If anyone is aware of David Dixon breaching the terms of the SCPO, please report your information through the SFO’s secure online reporting form.

A person who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with an SCPO commits an offence punishable by up to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Confiscation

The founder and creator of now defunct companies Arboretum Sports (UK) Limited and Arboretum Sports (USA), David Gerald Dixon, was originally ordered to pay a confiscation order of £275,000.  Mr. Dixon was given until 11 February 2017 to satisfy the confiscation order or face two years’ imprisonment imposed as default sentence.

On 11 July 2017, David Gerald Dixon had his default prison sentence of two years activated by the court today for failure to pay a £275,000 confiscation order and will still remain liable for the full amount of £275,000 arising from the confiscation order, once this sentence is served.

His Honour Judge McCreath ordered that any confiscated sums would be paid in compensation to the victims.  The compensation will be apportioned equally between known victims of the fraud.

Arboretum Sports investors with queries about compensation payments should contact the case team.

Page published on 27 Jan 2015 | Page modified on 19 Jul 2017