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Lottery Winner Jailed After False UK Lotto £2.5m Payout

Edward Putman, 54, the lottery winner jailed for nine years has started his sentence. Putman swindled lottery operator Camelot in 2009. Co-conspirator Giles Knibbs, who has since died, provided a fake winning ticket to get an unclaimed jackpot just before it expired.

Putman of Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, wore a jacket and jeans and showed no emotion when his verdict was read out.

fake lottery ticket
The fake lottery ticket that Edward Putman used

The fraud came crashing down when Knibbs of Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, confessed to his part in the fraud shortly before killing himself in October 2015.

Camelot verified the fake ticket which Putman claimed just days before the claim deadline. The CPS has vowed to recover the money, but to date, none of the winnings has been returned.

Knibbs worked at Camelot’s fraud detection department between 2004 and 2010, working out a way to cheat the system.

In June 2015, Knibbs and Putman had an argument over his belief he was owed £1m for his part in the scam. He damaged Putman’s car and stole his phone. Putman complained to police, and he was arrested for criminal damage, burglary and blackmail. He took his life fearing a 15-year sentence.

In court, it was suggested that Knibbs had received £280,000 for his role, as well as a further £50,000 in smaller transfers.

Edward Putman attends court

Prosecutor Mr Keeley explained that Knibbs felt he had been treated unfairly, which led to the argument. Keeley explained that the draw on  11 March 2009 had gone unclaimed, and Putman contracted Camelot just 10 days before the winning ticket was due to expire to claim the jackpot.

He went on to say ‘He was lying. He did not hold the winning tricked, but a forgery created by Mr Knibbs.’

On handing down the sentence, Judge Philip Grey said the ‘sophisticated, carefully planned, and diligently operated fraud’. He said: ‘You would have got away with this but quite plainly you were greedy’.

He continued, ‘Whatever the exact monetary split you and Mr Knibbs had agreed, you did not pay him what split he felt he was owed. The two of you fell out spectacularly. ‘This crime struck at the integrity of the National Lottery. You have also undermined the public’s trust in the lottery itself.’

Although he had got away with the fraud at the time, Putman was jailed in 2012 for nine months for a £13,000 benefit fraud, adding to a previous conviction for rape in the 90s.

A Camelot spokesman commented that this was a ‘unique, one-off incident over a decade ago’. He continued: ‘There were some weaknesses in some of the specific controls relevant to this incident at the time and we’re very sorry for that.’

‘We’ve strengthened our processes significantly since then and are completely confident that an incident of this nature could not happen today.’

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