At Heart of InTrade Mystery: $2.6M Paid to Dead Founder

2010-'11 payouts not sufficiently documented

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 12, 2013 1:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – Betting site InTrade has shut down abruptly and its founder might have some tough questions to answer—if he hadn't died during a 2011 attempt to climb Mount Everest. A recent audit found that the Dublin-based company made $2.6 million in "insufficiently documented payments" to founder John Delaney in 2010 and 2011, the Financial Times reports. The company he founded, which allowed customers to bet—or "purchase futures"—on anything from the weather to the papal election, has frozen its customer accounts and it's not clear when or if it will reopen.

InTrade closed its US accounts after a lawsuit from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission last fall. One person lamenting the site's disappearance is Neil Irwin at the Washington Post, who would love to see the "horse manure" filled world of political punditry start using InTrade or a similar site to put some money behind their vague predictions. "A successor that has more of a clear legal status and regulatory oversight, can be a vehicle for accountability in punditry, not just a way to make baseball playoff games more exciting," he writes.

InTrade founder John Delaney is seen during a 2008 interview.
InTrade founder John Delaney is seen during a 2008 interview.   (YouTube)
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