Nine years for forging £2.5 million ticket! Now here’s a story to warm your cockles. Tiss a tale of daring do and ultimately, treachery. It involves a fraudster who manufactured a fake lottery ticket and was able to claim a prize of £2.5 million ($3 million). He had a partner in crime and he would of got away with the crime if only they hadn’t fallen out.
Introduction: Nine Years for Forging £2.5 Million Ticket
It was good whilst it lasted. But last week, Edward Putman, aged 54 years was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to nine years of prison. According to online lotto news in the UK, the actual crime was committed over a decade ago, but events conspired to lead poor Edward to the path of prison. He was working with an accomplice, Giles Knibbs who was working for the National Lottery at the time. Knibbs was later to commit suicide in 2015.
A Cunning Plan
Putman, who has previous form for rape and welfare fraud, showed no emotion as he was sentenced. The jury found him guilty for fraud by false representation. The actual trial lasted two weeks. During that time, the court heard that the two men had made up a scheme after Knibbs managed to get his hands on a document which listed previous lottery wins which no one had collected. The serial numbers were partially blacked out. Armed with this information, Knibbs then set out to create 100 fake Lottery tickets, with each one of the 100 unique codes. As the deadline for the claims approached, Putman visited store after store, until he struck lucky and found a match in April of 2009. Of course, you could also be a winner if you bought a lottery ticket through theLotta. If you never try, how can you win?
Cracks Start to Appear
In spite of missing it’s barcode and being deliberately damaged, the fake ticket was accepted as real. But the story began to go pear shaped when the two men fell out over, you’ve guessed it, the money. Knibbs was sore that he only received £480,000 ($590,000) when he had been promised £1million. The funny thing is that the scheme would of remained undiscovered. But Knibbs behavior became increasingly strange. He started to talk to friends about the plan. And then in June, 2015, he broke into Putman’s house. He stole a phone and broke the wing mirror of Putman’s car. He should of just stayed at home and played with any of these online lotto sites in the UK.
Nine years for forging £2.5 million ticket: Falling Out
As if caught in some bizarre English comedy of errors, Putman called the police. They quickly surmised that the culprit was Knibbs. He was arrested and charged with criminal damage, blackmail and burglary. Incorrectly, he believed that the lottery fraud would be revealed. Fearing having to go to prison, he took his own life a couple of days before he was due in court.
It’s a Fake!
A short while later, the police received an anonymous tip off that the win was fraudulent. But the police were unable to build a case as the lottery company, Camelot, had lost the ticket in question. But in September 2018, the ticket re-surfaced. A number of experts were called upon and they determined that the ticket was a fake. Crown prosecutor, Tapashi Nadarajah said. “This was further strengthened by indisputable evidence provided by an expert in the scientific examination of questioned documents. They found significant differences between the printing on genuine tickets and that on Putman’s ticket, concluding his ticket was not genuine,” he added. On the same month, Putman was arrested and charged. The police said, “We used accounts from Knibbs’s friends, as well as documented evidence on his phone and financial transactions, to build a compelling case against Putman.”
There’s a Moral There Somewhere
“Whatever the exact monetary split you and Mr Knibbs had agreed, you did not pay him what split he felt he was owed,” said the judge while passing sentence. “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. You would have got away with this,” he added, “but quite plainly you were greedy.”
It was a great plan. Sad to say that greed got the better of one of the fraudsters. And to think they could of got away with it. Instead of going to all that trouble, just have a flutter with theLotter. Safer and easier.