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Gambler Sentenced to 14 Years

26 October 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian: "It is the oldest story in the book. A man gambles on the horses, loses heavily, then slides further and further into debt as he chases his losses.

"…Dennis Craig Telford did, and his failure to resist the temptation saw him sentenced to 14 years' jail in the South Australian Supreme Court yesterday.

"As company secretary for trucking tycoon Allan Scott, the 44-year-old father of two was so hopelessly hooked on the punt that he was driven in desperation to steal $22 million (US$16.4 million) out of the company coffers to cover his tracks.

"Originally, before he took up the job as K&S Corporation's company secretary, betting was just a hobby in which he staked amounts of $1000 to $2000 on the horses. Over the years, however, Telford's spending spiralled out of control. He started raising the stakes until by 2002 he was making single bets of up to $300,000.

"Eventually a single transfer of almost $3 million triggered his arrest in Queensland and extradition back to South Australia to face a raft of fraud charges.

"Having failed to convince the court he was unfit to stand trial, Telford pleaded guilty to 63 charges earlier this year.

"Telford's pathological desire to bet was so extreme that an addiction counsellor described him as one of the world's most chronic gamblers…"

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