A convicted rapist has been jailed for nine years after faking his way to a multimillion-pound National Lottery win with a counterfeit ticket in a “sophisticated and carefully planned” ruse.
Edward Putman, 54, conspired with a Camelot insider to cheat the system and present a forged slip to claim the outstanding £2.5 million jackpot in 2009.
The ex-builder hatched the plot with friend Giles Knibbs – who then worked in the securities department at the Lottery operator – with the pair submitting a deliberately damaged forgery just before the 180-day limit to stake claims expired.
But the fraud unravelled 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 at St Albans Crown Court found Putman guilty of fraud by false representation on Friday after a two-week trial.
Passing sentence, judge Philip 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.”
The judge said the fact Camelot had been “hoodwinked in this way will of course be damaging to its reputation”.
The genuine winning ticket, which was bought in Worcester, has never been discovered.
Putman, a convicted rapist and benefits cheat, was paid the jackpot by Camelot despite the bottom part of the mangled slip missing the barcode, the trial heard.
Part way through the judge’s remarks, he said “I can’t believe what I’m hearing”.