New step in the investigation of PronoClub, this sports prediction site whose young founder, Thomas Boursin, is suspected of fraud. While Boursin benefited, Wednesday, from a release on bail (100,000 €), by the judges of the investigating chamber of the Court of Appeal of Versailles (Yvelines), a man was arrested the same day , in Belgium, in connection with this file which concerns a gigantic alleged scam.
According to our information, it is the Liege Michael Neerdael. « It is the continuation of the investigative work that has led to him being held to account », explains a source close to the matter. « He was interrogated yesterday (Wednesday) then released in the evening « , his lawyer, Me Maxim Töller, told us this Thursday. Neerdael was arrested by Belgian police officers attached to the fight against financial crime, assisted by investigators from the Central Service for Races and Games (SCCJ), who had made the trip from France.
He had intended to buy Standard de Liège
Already known to the courts of his country, the young man (35) has already been sentenced, in 2019, for a fraud in investing in diamonds and real estate. He had also made himself known when he announced his intention to buy the football club from Standard de Liège. Last fall, he appeared again in Belgian courts for allegedly defrauding sports betting enthusiasts by luring them yields of 25%.
According to Michael Neerdael’s lawyer, his client was « Ready to go to France to be heard » in the PronoClub folder. « We have written four times to the examining magistrate and the public prosecutor since September to tell them that we wanted to communicate information, but without a response from them », adds Me Töller. A judicial investigation in the PronoClub affair was opened in September, in particular for « swindling in an organized group », « aggravated money laundering » and « deceptive commercial practices », counts for which Thomas Boursin was indicted.
PronoClub is a social network connecting bettors and sports prognosticators, whose registered office is in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine), which presented itself as « The number 1 platform in France for advice and training in sports betting ».
More than 600 complaints in the file
This service had gained visibility thanks to numerous television spots. The majority of complaints – more than 600 to date – concern a specific service of the platform, which offered users to place their money to be played for them, in a pyramid scheme of sponsorship sales. The most significant loss would amount to € 55,000 for one of the clients.
On December 8, Thomas Boursin explained to the investigating judge in charge of the case that Neerdael had signed a contract with PronoClub last spring, according to The Parisian. The Belgian would have offered him an association and a miracle solution to help him in his difficulties, following multiple complaints from dissatisfied customers. But he would have left with the fund without reimbursing anyone.