Alleged Lottery Cheat Edward Putman Charged Over £2.5 Million Fraud

Edward Putman has been charged following a three-year investigation into a £2.5 million lottery win that never was.

Edward Putman.

Alleged lottery faker Edward Putman has been charged with claiming a £2.5 million jackpot under false pretences. (Image: The National Lottery)

Putman was initially released without charge in 2015 following a lack of evidence that he used a fake ticket to claim the seven-figure jackpot back in 2009. Although the alleged fraudster escaped a conviction, lottery operator Camelot was fined £3 million by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for paying out on what was “highly likely” to be a fraudulent claim.

Alleged Fraud and Suicide

Not letting the issue rest, Camelot went in pursuit of the prize money while Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit continued its investigation. As more evidence emerged, Giles Knibbs was thought to be the inside man.

Part of Camelot’s fraud unit, Knibbs allegedly gave Putman information about the unclaimed jackpot on top of having access to ticket printing machines. Following a string of accusations, Knibbs took his own life in August 2017, leaving the spotlight on Putman.

Three-years on, Hertfordshire police have gathered what they believe is enough evidence to convict the 53-year-old. Charging the Kings Langley resident with fraud by false representation, the prosecution will now present its evidence in court on October 16.

For Putman, he’ll have to explain how he came to own a winning lottery ticket that didn’t contain a barcode.

Camelot Forced to Improve Standards

In order to verify all claims, Camelot prints unique barcodes on each ticket it sells. The scannable code is designed to link up with the numbers on the ticket and form a second layer of authenticity.

However, in this instance, Putman was able to claim the £2.5 million jackpot without the barcode.

If the judge rules in favour of the prosecution, Putman could be forced to repay the money he took under the Proceeds of Crime Act. For Camelot, a win would help offset the fine it was forced to pay the UKGC back in 2016.

Between this and another £1.15 million fine levied against the operator in August for historic governance failures, Camelot is working to improve its internal controls. Indeed, with the tender process for the National Lottery taking place in 2019, Camelot will need to show improvements or risk losing the business it’s controlled since 1994.

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