Fraudster claimed £2.5 million lottery jackpot by cashing in fake ticket

4 October 2019, 15:40 | Updated: 4 October 2019, 15:45

Edward Putman arrivies at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire, where he is charged with fraud by false representation
Edward Putman arrivies at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire, where he is charged with fraud by false representation. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

A builder has been found guilty of claiming a £2.5m lottery win by using a fake ticket.

Edward Putman, 54, from Hertfordshire, has been convicted of cashing in the fake ticket in 2009.

After a two-week trial, jurors at St Albans Crown Court found Putman guilty of fraud by false representation.

He was convicted of hatching a plot with friend Giles Knibbs, who then worked in the securities department at Camelot.

They conspired to cheat the system and present a counterfeit slip to claim the top prize.

The pair submitted a deliberately damaged forgery just before the 180-day limit to stake claims expired.

Convicted benefits cheat Putman who wore a Barbour-style jacket and blue jeans, did not appear to make any reaction to the verdict.

Edward Putman claimed the outstanding jackpot of 2.5 million with a fake ticket in 2009.
Edward Putman claimed the outstanding jackpot of 2.5 million with a fake ticket in 2009. Picture: PA

His con was exposed after Mr Knibbs confessed to friends that he had "conned" the Lottery before taking his own life after an angry row about how the winnings were divided.

Jurors were told how the scam began to fall apart after the friendship between the former business partners deteriorated.

The fake lottery ticket
The fake lottery ticket. Picture: CPS

Mr Knibbs' behaviour became increasingly erratic and he began revealing details of the fraud to friends after failing to receive what he said was his agreed £1 million share of the prize.

He confronted Putman in a heated argument in June 2015, breaking Putman's wing mirrors and stealing his phone.

The real winning ticket, which was bought in Worcester, has never been discovered.

In 2016, the Gambling Commission fined Camelot £3 million for breaching its operating licence regarding controlling databases, investigating prize claims, and paying out prizes.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it "will take steps to recover his fraudulently acquired winnings."

Putman is due to be sentenced by Judge Philip Grey later.

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