I have done the quick maths and reckon he comes away with a profit at the end of his sentence.
This week a fraudster who who is also a convicted rapist conned the National lottery owners Camelot out of £2.5 million has been ordered to pay back more than £900,000, following an investigation by the Eastern Operations Unit.
Edward Putman, 56, of Station Road, Kings Langley, was jailed for nine years in October 2019 following his conviction of fraud by false representation, after he presented a fraudulent lottery ticket to Camelot to claim a £2.5 million win. The former bricklayer had used some of the money to buy a house and land near the M25 in Kings Langley where he had planned to build an hotel.
An investigation was subsequently launched by ERSOU’s financial investigation team to identify and confiscate his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
The jury heard Putman had conspired with Lottery insider Giles Knibbs, of Bricket Wood, who worked in Camelot’s security department, to present a fake ticket.
The scam began after Knibbs saw documents being printed containing details of big wins which had not yet been claimed while working late one night.
Prosecutor James Keeley told the trial there was ‘some trial and error’ in producing a successful forged ticket, with several different specimens made, each with one of the 100 different possible unique codes on the bottom.
Mr Knibbs had claimed Putman went to 29 different shops as the clock ticked down to claim the cash, providing a different ticket at each, before the right number was found.
The jury heard it was just 10 days before the six-month deadline for claims that the builder came forward with the ticket on August 28, 2009, which had been sold at the Co-op at St John’s Road, Worcester.
It had the winning numbers: 6, 9, 20, 21, and 34. When Putman made the call to Camelot to claim the prize he said he found the ticket under the seat of his van. It was missing its bottom part, which contained unique numbers.
But Camelot, where Knibbs had worked between 2004 and 2010 in the fraud department, had been conned and verified the ticket as genuine.
The actual winning ticket, which was never claimed.
Although he pocketed the winnings, Putman, of Station Road, Kings Langley, was sentenced in 2012 to nine months for a benefit fraud after claiming £13,000 in housing and income support.
The fraud began to unravel on October 5 2015 when Mr Knibbs, 38, committed suicide at Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. He had confessed to friends that he and Putman had “conned” the Lottery.
The two men had rowed about how the winnings were divided. In June 2015, Putman had gone to the police alleging Knibbs had threatened to reveal his previous convictions for the rape of a 17 year old girl in 1991 and a benefits fraud in 2012. He also reported that Knibbs had stolen his mobile phone and damaged the wing mirror on his car. After his release his friendship with Knibbs broke down. The two men had agreed to split the jackpot 50/50, but Putman only handing over £300,000 to his partner in crime.
According to the prosecution, Knibbs believed Putman had reneged on their deal and deprived him of his “fair share” of the money.
Knibbs was arrested for burglary, blackmail, and criminal damage, and took his own life just days before he was due to appear in court.
Witness, Coleyshaw told the court Knibbs believed he would be imprisoned for “ten to 15 years” for fraud so he felt he had no choice but to take his own life.
Putman would be arrested and charged the same year, he denied that between August 28 and September 8 2009, together with Giles Knibbs, he dishonestly made a false representation, namely produced a fraudulent National Lottery ticket, intending to make a gain, namely £2,525,485 for himself. He was convicted by the jury of seven women and five men.
Passing sentence, Judge Grey said the “sophisticated, carefully planned, and diligently operated fraud” struck at the heart of the integrity of the National Lottery.
He said: “You would have got away with this but quite plainly you were greedy.
“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.”
In 2012, Putman was sentenced to nine months for benefit fraud after going on to claim £13,000 in housing and income support despite his jackpot win.
Following a subsequent POCA hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday 26 January 2022 Putman was ordered to repay £939,000 – the total of value of assets that he has available. If he does not repay the amount in three months, he must serve a further six years in prison.
If further assets are identified, the confiscation order will be adjusted to take these into account until all of his benefit from the crime is repaid.
Financial Investigator Claire Howard said: “This case demonstrates our commitment to continue to use Proceeds Of Crime Act powers at every opportunity, in order to strip the assets from those who seek to benefit from illegal activity. We will continue to work tirelessly to show that crime doesn’t pay.”
In 2017, before the ticket was found, Camelot was fined £3 million ($3.7 million) by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for paying out what the commission believed, but could not categorically prove, was a fraudulent ticket.
The UKGC said the ticket was “more likely than not” a fake, but admitted Putman would probably get to keep the $2.5 million. Camelot was guilty of “serious failings,” it added.
“Lottery players can feel reassured that our investigations have found no evidence of similar events happening, and that controls are in place today to mitigate against future prize payout failings of this type,” said UKGC.