Dishonesty Doesn’t Pay


Horatio Bottomley (1860-1933)
Horatio Bottomley (1860-1933)

British Member of Parliament Horatio Bottomley made a lot of money through fraud. He also lost a lot of money the same way.

In a classic case of karma, in 1914 Bottomley bought all the horses that would run a race. He paid the jockeys to finish in a certain order and bet large sums of money on what seemed to be a sure thing. Unfortunately for Bottomley, a dense fog rolled in right at the time of the race, and the jockeys were unable to see each other’s positions. Bottomley lost all the money he had put up for the race.

One of Bottomley’s favorite ways to make money was to create sweepstakes competitions, giving away large sums of money for prizes. Upon investigation it was revealed that the winners of the sweepstakes all seemed to have a close relationship to Bottomley or one of his associates. In one typical example, all but £250 of a £25,000 prize made it into a bank account controlled by Bottomley, himself.

Bottomley ultimately was convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison. He died impoverished.

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