June 15, 2024

Victims of a supposed Ponzi scheme fear that their investments, amounting to millions of dollars, might be gone forever after the man they entrusted it to suddenly disappeared.

Marley Wynter, a poker player, spearheaded the House of Sport operation, luring investors with prospects of impressive returns. However, he disappeared when his business crumbled.

Nicky Hotop poured $13,000 into the venture, growing her returns to $95,000, but when she attempted to cash out, she was met with a barrage of excuses.

“One of my daughters told me, ‘Mum, this sounds a lot like a Ponzi scheme’,” Ms Hotop shared with A Current Affair.

“I responded, ‘What is that?’

“I hope Wynter is held accountable for the lives he has destroyed.”

Marley Wynter has disappeared. Picture: A Current Affair/ Channel 9

Marley Wynter has vanished. Picture: A Current Affair/ Channel 9

Another poker player Craig Abernethy was skeptical when he heard about returns shooting up to 400 per cent.

“It’s often too late when you realize you’ve been scammed,” he remarked.

Mr Abernethy noticed “quite a few warning signs”.

“The operations lacked transparency, there were never any betting slips displayed,” he added.

Moreover, Mr Abernethy investigated allegations on the House of Sport website, claiming that $50,000 had been donated to a children’s cancer charity.

Contradicting the claim, the charity confirmed they never received a single penny from House of Sport.

So far, Abernethy has uncovered more than $3m in investments from 79 individuals.

“The sum total of investment balances, including all returns, crossed $40m,” he disclosed.

“This wealth is fictitious, like nothing more than pixels on a computer monitor. There’s absolutely no basis behind it.”

Poker player Marley Wynter ran House of Sport, promising good returns to investors. Picture: A Current Affair/ Channel 9Poker player Marley Wynter ran House of Sport, promising good returns to investors. Picture: A Current Affair/ Channel 9

Poker player Marley Wynter led House of Sport, enticing investors with sizeable returns. Picture: A Current Affair/ Channel 9

Wynter tried to pacify investors by asserting it was not a Ponzi scheme and managed to refund some clients.

Nevertheless, House of Sport ceased operations in January the previous year.

Wynter went missing by the end of last year, making it impossible for those seeking compensation to serve him a legal notice.

Brent Stowers, a lawyer representing 11 former investors, is fighting to retrieve more than $1m they invested.

“My clients have been kept in the dark, deceived with inaccurate information, and given a series of unfulfilled promises,” he stressed.

Stowers mentioned that Wynter attributed blame to the banks, claiming that his accounts had been frozen due to various reasons.