Lottery fraudster who robbed £2.5 million using fake ticket still has stolen money as he is released from prison

4 April 2024, 14:46

Edward Putman
Edward Putman. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

A lottery fraudster who robbed £2.5 million using a fake ticket was freed from prison despite not paying all of the money back.

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Edward Putman was released under crisis plans to free up space in prison, despite still owing £900,000.

He was jailed for nine years for his role in the fraudulent scheme.

He was eventually caught after his co-conspirator, a National Lottery worker, took his own life.

Prosecutors were given the power to acquire his possessions, selling them to raise cash, after he only paid £94,000 voluntarily.

That included his home in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, which sold for £1.2 million.

Edward Putman
Edward Putman. Picture: Alamy

Putman was ordered to pay back around £900,000 but said no.

He was freed under the End of Custody Supervised Licence scheme. Under this scheme, prisoners were to be released up to 18 days before the end of their sentence.

But last month it was announced that inmates could be freed two months early under the scheme.

A source told the Mirror: "Putman showed contempt for the repayment of the cash he stole but was still released early. It’s appalling."

Edward Putman
Edward Putman. Picture: Alamy

Putman had previously been convicted of the rape of a 17-year-old girl in 1993. He served seven years in prison for the offence.

Putman had worked with Giles Knibbs, an employee of Camelot, the company that runs the lottery, to fake a winning ticket in 2009.

The actual winning lottery ticket was never claimed. Putman called Camelot to claim that he had the winning ticket. His claim was accepted, despite the ticket not having a barcode.

Mr Knibbs later committed suicide after rowing with Putman over how to split the winnings, and the plan began to come apart.

A friend of Mr Knibbs said: "Giles is gone and Putman is free – how is that fair? Giles was exploited and took his own life. Now Putman has been freed and has the rest of his life ahead of him.

"They’ve never got to the bottom of what he did with the money. It’s horrific."

Edward Putman
Edward Putman. Picture: Alamy

Addressing the End of Custody Supervised Licence scheme, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We are creating an additional 20,000 prison places – the biggest prison expansion programme since the Victorian era – so we can lock up dangerous offenders for longer.

"Only lower-level offenders who are a matter of days before their automatic release date are being considered for the End of Custody Supervised Licence Scheme and anyone convicted of a sexual, terrorist or serious violent offence is excluded.

"Governors can block the release of any prisoner and those who are released face strict monitoring and can be sent back to prison if they break the rules.”

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