A man has been jailed after claiming a National Lottery prize of more than £2million using a fake ticket.
Fifty-four year old, Edward Putman, from Station Road, Kings Langley was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court on 4 October after being found guilty of fraud by false representation.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison.
The incident occurred in 2009 when a claim was made for an outstanding lottery prize.
A lottery ticket was submitted, and the prize of £2.5m was paid to Putman.
In 2015 an investigation was opened by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit after evidence came to light that the claim was not genuine.
The new evidence emerged following allegations made by Edward Putman, against a Giles Knibbs who was subsequently arrested on suspicion of blackmail.
Following his arrest, police obtained information from Knibbs’sKnibbs’s associates that he had created a fraudulent ticket and colluded with Putman to claim the lottery prize.
It was claimed that Knibbs, who had previously held a position within Camelot, had obtained a list of prizes which were due to expire, as well as details of where the tickets were purchased.
This information could have enabled him to make a forgery of one of these unsurrendered tickets.
Unfortunately, Knibbs took his own life a short while after making these disclosures, which meant police were not able to follow up on this information received.
Statements were supplied to police by associates of Knibbs confirming what he had said to them.
Further evidence to corroborate these allegations was found on electronic devices owned by Knibbs in July 2015.
Putman was arrested in October 2015, but he denied being involved, and the matter was discontinued due to lack of evidence and the original ticket submitted by Putman could not be found.
This ticket was discovered in January 2017 by Camelot staff, and the investigation reopened.
Vital evidence that helped to prove this case was provided by a forensic document specialist, who compared a batch of genuine tickets sold at the time Putman’s ticket was allegedly purchased.
Noticeable differences around the print and design of Putman’s ticket were detected, which further indicated it was a forgery.
Detective Chief Inspector Sam Khanna, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit, said:
“This has been a very complex investigation, which only came to light after new information was received in 2015.
“Until that point, the claim was assessed to be valid.
“The original ticket that was submitted was badly damaged, but the defendant was able to provide sufficient information around the purchase of the ticket to enable the prize to be paid.
“In 2015 new information was received that the ticket had been faked and at this stage, it was reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary.
“The investigation was long and complicated, and opportunities to obtain evidence were minimal.
“The case hinged upon whether the ticket was genuine or not.
“I would like to thank the officer in the case, DC Heath, for her detailed and diligent investigation.
“Also, the witnesses who helped us prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the ticket was a fake.
“The sentence handed out by the judge reflects the serious nature of the offence and the amount of time and resources it has taken to investigate and bring this case to court.
“Putman has illegally obtained a large amount of money he was not entitled to, and we will be referring this case to the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize his assets and recover as much of the money as we can.”