UK Serviceman gambled £41,000 borrowed from concerned friends

A former RAF serviceman who took more than £41,000 from his friends to fund his gambling habit has had his bankruptcy restrictions extended.

Levi Freeman, 28, from Northampton, signed a 6-year Bankruptcy Restriction Undertaking after he borrowed £31,233 from friends and persuaded them to guarantee loans totalling £10,000 between October 2015 and February 2020.

Freeman was known to gamble from a young age and regularly borrowed money from friends to fund the gambling. However, he told friends he needed to borrow money for his living expenses, to repay creditors or to help family members.

Between October 2015 and January 2019, Freeman asked one friend to loan him £7,383 which he promised to repay. However, only £150 was received.

A further £6,450 was borrowed from another friend between April 2019 and December 2019 but just £950 was repaid.

Loans totalling £17,550 were given from a third friend between July 2019 and February 2020 who was also persuaded to act as guarantor for two loans totalling £10,000. In August 2020, Levi Freeman filed for bankruptcy, owing almost £68,000 and the Insolvency Service started an investigation into his spending.

The investigation found that between September 2018 and February 2020, Levi Freeman used a total of £39,579 taken from his friends to fund his gambling habit.

On 15 June, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted a six-year bankruptcy restrictions undertaking from Levi Freeman. The restrictions mean that, effective immediately, Levi Freeman cannot borrow more than £500 without disclosing his bankrupt status and cannot act as a company director without the court’s permission.

Kevin Read, Official Receiver at the Insolvency Service, said:

Levi Freeman used his friends’ concern, telling them he was struggling with living expenses, and then cynically used the money to fund his gambling. He made minimal efforts to repay those who tried to help him and instead left one liable for £10,000 in loans as well as the loss of their savings.

We will take firm action against individuals who make false representations to encourage people to lend them funds which are then cynically misused, as this case shows.