A PAIR who swindled people out of their pensions, inheritances and life savings in a betting scam have been jailed.

Simon Reynolds, 64, from Flansham, and his nephew Ian Reynolds, 52, have been sentences for a combined total of nine and a half years.

It followed an investigation into the pair 's online spread betting investment fraud, known as Sporting Profits.

They claimed to provide expert advice relating to various sporting events worldwide.

Between 2008 and 2012, they caused the loss of more than £4.8 million for more than 100 victims across the UK and abroad, including 25 from Sussex.

The pair operated two companies during this period, providing profits statements to investors which falsely indicated that their investments had grown.

Detective Constable Jon Moore said: "The scheme was set up by Simon Reynolds who claimed to have a tried and tested system to make money on the betting exchanges which could provide an income of 2 per cent per month on any money invested.

"The sales pitch claimed that only 1 per cent of the investment would be at risk.

"Monthly updates were sent to all investors indicating how much their investment had been increased by when all the time the scheme was losing money from the outset.

"Simon Reynolds set up the business and employed Ian as the ‘bookkeeper' – although Ian also received investors’ money and encouraged people to invest when they both knew the scheme had failed.

"After extensive enquiries our expert financial investigation team identified 145 investors providing £4,271,963.00 to Simon Reynolds and £681,589.00 to Ian Reynolds making a total of £4.953,552.00.

"A total sum of £1,598,650.77 was subsequently repaid to some of the investors, but many have lost their pension, inheritances and life savings.

"The Reynolds' used the remainder of the funds to repay their losses to the betting companies and also to fund their own living."

The pair appeared for sentencing at Lewes Crown Court yesterday, having previously been convicted of fraud by false representation.

Simon Reynolds, a publican, was sentenced to a total of six years imprisonment and Ian Reynolds, self employed, was sentenced to three and a half years.

Simon Reynolds had pleaded guilty in March 2020 to two counts covering a four year period, and Ian Reynolds not guilty.

At a trial in May 2021 Ian Reynolds was found not guilty of a count covering the first two years but guilty to a second count covering the years 2010 to 2012.

Louise Whitehead of the CPS said: “After a complex investigation and prosecution by both Sussex Police and the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS, the extent of the investment fraud committed by both defendants has been uncovered and some justice has now been obtained for the many victims.”