UK authorities have charged a convicted rapist with fraud for his involvement in a bogus UK National Lottery claim.
On Tuesday, UK media outlets reported that Hertfordshire Police had charged 53-year-old Edward Putman with fraud by false representation for submitting a claim on a £2.5m National Lottery jackpot in 2009. Putman has been released on bail ahead of a court appearance scheduled for October 16.
In 2009, National Lottery operator Camelot received a claim on the £2.5m jackpot from Putman, who presented a ticket on which the barcode had been destroyed. But Camelot decided to pay out the prize “based on the evidence available” at the time.
In 2015, Putman was arrested on suspicion of fraud after evidence surfaced that he’d colluded with a Camelot insider to claim the prize. However, the investigation was dropped after Hertfordshire police felt they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed.
Putman’s Camelot insider reportedly identified an unclaimed jackpot, then printed a new ticket with the same numbers, tore off the barcode and had Putman submit the bogus ticket as the winner. Putman reportedly used the insider’s info to identify where the ticket was purchased, which apparently was sufficient to settle any concerns Camelot may have had regarding the legitimacy of Putman’s claim.
Despite his windfall, Putman continued to apply for and receive unemployment benefits until his lottery win came to light. Putman was eventually sentenced to nine months in prison over the benefits scam. Putman previously served four years for raping an underage girl in 1991.
Giles Knibbs, the Camelot IT staffer who is suspected of being Putman’s man on the inside, committed suicide after allegedly blackmailing Putman for £900k of the bogus winnings.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) conducted an investigation into Putman’s payday, ultimately concluding that “it was more likely than not that a fraudulent prize claim had been paid out.” In 2016, Camelot was penalized £3m for “serious” failures in its damaged ticket prize process that breached the terms of Camelot’s gaming license.
Camelot has declined to comment on news of Putman’s arrest, saying only that it “wouldn’t be appropriate” to discuss a matter that is now before the courts.