Thursday October 22,2015 : SHERIFF GAMING TAX EVASION RULING CONTAINS INTERESTING INFORMATION
Dutch court hears evidence allegedly implicating brothers Michel and Maurice Gregoire and Stijn Flapper in in some questionable practices.
The names of reportedly Sheriff Gaming – Bubble Group principals Michel and Maurice Gregoire and Stijn Flapper will have a familiar ring for InfoPowa readers following the police actions and shutdown of the company in 2013, and a sequel in a Dutch tax court in August 2015 makes equally interesting reading.
The redacted findings of the Zeeland West Brabant court tax evasion hearings have surfaced in the public domain and reveal evidence that Euro 13.5 million in taxes was owed based on revenues of Euro 46.7 million accrued by Bubble Group enterprises in the period 2008 to 2013.
But perhaps more intriguing is the evidence given by a Sheriff Gaming programmer whose name has been redacted; he (or she?) alleged that online jackpots offered by the company were deliberately designed not to hit.
This lack of integrity allegedly backfired under certain circumstances, giving punters a real chance to strike it lucky, and this unintended occurrence apparently made one [redacted] principal extremely angry. The programmer further alleged that in the event the punter was not paid in full anyway.
Jumping on the story this week, Dutch media surmised that the angry principal was probably Stijn Flapper, with one publication claiming insider information that jackpots were manipulated, fake winners were claimed, prizes went to family and friends, and that employees were instructed that in the unlikely event that a genuine punter scored they were to prevent any withdrawal of winnings.
Sheriff's confiscated assets – including its software – were subsequently sold by Dutch officials to Novomatic, which reportedly also employed some of the defunct company's staff – among them Flapper's wife Ellen. An attempt by a Flapper sibling to transfer Bubble Group assets to the then newly created Blue Gem Gaming group was thwarted last year by a Dutch Trade Tribunal intervention.
Michel and Maurice Gregoire and Stijn Flapper have yet to face trial on illegal online gambling and other charges.