Lotto Fraudster faces 6 more years in jail over assets after £2.5m fake ticket

A fraudster who conned the Lottery out of £2.5 million with a fake ticket faces six more years in prison unless he hands over what is left of his ill-gotten gains.

Edward Putman, 56, is set to lose a house and land in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, where he had planned to build an hotel.

The former bricklayer has been ordered to hand over his assets, valued at £939,782.44, within three months or face further years added to the nine year sentence he is already serving.

Putman was found guilty in October 2019 of using a forged winning ticket to claim the jackpot in 2009 after a lottery insider spilled details of the scam.

In a Proceeds of Crime hearing at St Albans Crown Court today, prosecutor Adam Pearson said the benefit Putman had obtained from the fraud was £2,525,495 and the available amount for confiscation was £939,782.44.

His barrister Lawrence Selby said: "Mr Putman does not accept or agree the benefit figure or realisable assets, but will not be contesting these proceedings. "

Judge Philip Grey said he will give a formal ruling later, but would impose a further six years in prison if the money was paid within three months.

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The house that is due to be taken, which is close to the M25, currently stands in a scruffy, unkempt state with curtains drawn shut.

The land resembles a vehicle graveyard with at least twenty cars and vans parked up alongside caravans and mobile homes.

During his trial the jury heard Putman had conspired with lottery insider Giles Knibbs, who worked in Camelot's security department, to present a fake ticket.

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The actual winning ticket, which was never claimed, was bought at a Co-op store in Worcester on March 11, 2009. It had the winning numbers: 6,9,20,21, and 34.

One August 28 that year, just before the 180-day claim deadline, Putman called Camelot to come forward as the winner. In a 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. He submitted the deliberately damaged forgery, which was accepted as authentic by Camelot even though it was missing a barcode.

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The fraud began to unravel on October 5 in 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 Mr 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.

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Putman previously denied the allegations of false representation by intending to gain money for himself but was found guilty by a jury.

Passing sentence at the time, Judge Grey said "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.

He was also jailed in 1991 for seven years for raping a 17-year-old girl.

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