Like many other, it seems, I was contacted in December 2007 by AFL Systems, had the concept of arbitrage explained, was sent a very professional looking glossy booklet, and subsequently signed up at a cost of AU$7000 (over NZ$8000). Of the $7000, $6000 was fees, the other $1000 was for betting money. According to the booklet, money was bet weekly and a return of 5% per week could be expected.
It had been explained to me that bets would only be placed if there were only 2 options and differing bookmakers were offering very different odds on the result, enabling bets to be placed so that no matter what the result, there was a positive financial outcome.
I did the usual checks with ASIC (company appeared to be OK), the arbitrage system (there were numerous apparently legitimate websites internationally who were offering this system), and checked hoax and scam reporting websites on the internet. Everything appeared to be squeaky clean and so I signed up.
I received a 'statement' dated 11 March 2008 which was completely unintelligible to me. It showed an opening balance of $1000, which I could understand, and exposure amount (whatever that was) of $428.22. The closing balance was $146.51. From what I could see, these amounts could have just been plucked out of thin air. I emailed to ask for an explanation of this statement, and received no reply.
My second statement dated 7 May 2008 was similar. Somehow the $146.51 closing balance of the earlier statement became an opening balance of $574.74, and the available balance at 4 May was $406.41. Again, totally incomprehensible. Again I emailed for an explanation and received no reply. Interestingly, this statement is on Kent Woodhouse letterhead.
My last communication from Kent Woodhouse was on 20 May. The letter received stated that "the Arbitrage Programme we have used in the past has not been performing to our standards" and blathered on about thanking us for our "patience and understanding".
As far as I am concerned, this is a total ripoff, the business should be closed down by ASIC, the proprietors should be prosecuted and be forced to repay what that have stolen from the 'investors' in this scheme.
Interestingly, Kent Woodhouse & Associates Pty Ltd are not listed on the ASIC website, are not mentioned in the Australian online telephone directory, do not appear to have a physical address and their website does not exist.
I know I'm not the only person who has been scammed by these people. A class action to recover what has been stolen is certainly an option worth considering.