Former West Ham footballer ‘gambled £16,000 at casino using stolen card’, court hears
- Credit: Archant
A former West Ham footballer gambled £16,000 at a Mayfair casino using a stolen card, a court has heard.
Winger Blair Turgott, 23, is accused of withdrawing the cash before exchanging it for chips during a night at the Playboy casino in Park Lane.
At the end of the night, Turgott - who rose through the youth ranks but made his only first team Hammers appearance in an FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest in January 2014 - cashed out £16,900, leaving with a £900 profit, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Kaj Scarsbrook said the card used by Turgott, from Bromley, had earlier been stolen from Peter Dixon by a fraudster posing as a bank employee.
He told jurors: “Somehow the card and its details ended up in Mr Turgott’s possession. The prosecution say that in itself is suspect, as is using someone else’s card to fund your gambling.”
Turgott denies fraud and converting criminal property on the night of September 30, 2016.The court heard the victim was called by a fraudster earlier that day posing as a bank employee, who said he needed to collect Mr Dixon’s debit card so a new one could be issued.
Shortly after, a man in his 20s knocked on his door and Mr Dixon handed over his card.
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But Mr Dixon went to his branch the following Monday after his wife became suspicious.
“Their bank told them, perhaps unsurprisingly, this man had absolutely nothing to do with them and had, effectively, stolen the card,” the prosecutor said.
Jurors heard around £17,000 had been taken from Mr Dixon’s current account, with CCTV showing Turgott made two £8,000 withdrawals at the Playboy casino.
“He exchanges that money for casino plaques and spent the evening gambling,” said Mr Scarsbrook.
“At the end of the evening, he cashed out £16,900 cash, having made a profit of £900 that evening gambling.”
The prosecutor said at least one other person was involved in the alleged fraud, telling jurors they must decide if Turgott was “being dishonest”.
The trial continues.