I was surprised to receive both an email and a letter from the office of David Hipkind, employed as Head of Business Delivery at sportingindex.com trading as Sporting Index Ltd, which claims to be one of the world's largest online betting companies. My surprise was due to the fact that I am not a gambler and have never placed any kind of bet with this company. The letter demanded $900 from me to be paid within one week, ending unpleasantly enough on Christmas Day. If the money was not received before Christmas David Hipkind threatened to post defamatory materials on numerous websites about me and my property.
To do this in the United States or Canada would I believe be a criminal offence. England has been slow to adopt similar legislation. Nevertheless the threat was sufficiently detailed with malicious falsehoods and based on statements that were so clearly untrue, that it was possible to organise a legal injunction preventing him from posting defamatory materials on websites. Once served on him, he would risk arrest if he did not comply with its terms.
Armed with this information I approached the compliance officer whose job it is to ensure that sportingindex.com fulfills all the requirements of the Financial Services Authority. He was sympathetic and observed that this was "an unpleasant business". He passed on David Hipkind's letter to the managing director of Sportingindex.com Warren Murphy, who was not sympathetic.
Warren Murphy appeared to consider that since David Hipkind had not dealt with me as a corporate client this was no concern of his, despite the fact that the threat was issued in the company name, by a corporate officer, from the company address and using company web address in office time. That means that the company is legally responsible for David Hipkind's behaviour.
I do not accept Warren Murphys distinction between corporate and private business behaviour. I consider it just as likely that if a person behaves in an extortion fashion in a personal business capacity, it is possible that he will behave in the same way in a corporate business capacity. As Sportingindex.com deals with large sums of money on behalf of punters. Warren Murphy's dismissive attitude is surely a matter of deep concern.
Cape Verde Info