REVEALED: The inside man who 'helped rapist con his lottery bosses out of £2.5m' and planned to split the cash before killing himself
- Edward Putman raped a 17-year-old girl twice after breaking into her home
- Sentenced to seven years in prison in 1991 for the crime
- Then won the lottery in 2009 and was jailed in 2012 for claiming benefits
- It was alleged on Friday that he tricked Camelot into making the huge payout
- National Lottery operator was fined £3million over claims it paid out on a fraudulently claimed prize
- Suspected scam thought to have come to light after alleged accomplice who worked for Camelot took his own life
- Camelot employee Giles Knibbs killed himself in October last year
Edward Putman leaving court in June 2012 when he faced benefit fraud charges
A convicted rapist was paid a £2.5million jackpot by the National Lottery after allegedly submitting a ‘deliberately damaged ticket’.
Edward Putman, who raped a 17-year-old girl twice after breaking into her home, allegedly tricked Camelot into making the payout in 2009, it emerged yesterday.
The lottery operator was fined £3million over claims it paid out on a fraudulently claimed prize that robbed good causes of £2.5million.
Putman was suspected of having submitted his damaged ticket days before the six-month deadline to put in a claim.
Detectives suspected that the 51-year-old former builder had help from someone working at Camelot.
The suspected scam is believed to have come to light after his alleged accomplice Giles Knibbs, a Camelot employee, killed himself in October last year.
Giles Knibbs, a Camelot employee, killed himself in October last year
Putman was arrested by Hertfordshire Police last year on suspicion of committing an offence of fraud by false representation, but later released without charge.
They believed he was told which shop the ticket came from and when it was sold he could have made adjustments to it so that it appeared to be a genuinely winning slip. But they were unable to find evidence to support a prosecution.
Last night a source close to the investigation claimed Putman, known as Eddie, and Knibbs came up with the scam after meeting each other socially.
‘When Eddie got the money, the plan was for them to split it 50-50,’ the source said.
Putman covers his head with a hood as he leaves St Albans Magistrates Court in July 2012. He was jailed for twice raping a girl after he broke into her home in 1991
‘Eddie gave him some of the money, but not what they agreed. So the Camelot employee started to blackmail Eddie. Eddie went to the police and pressed charges for blackmail.
'The Camelot employee killed himself in October last year, three days before he was due to appear in court for the first time. It is very sad that this act has cost him his life. Soon after the police were told about the reasons behind the scam and arrested Eddie. But the evidence had been destroyed, so they had to let him go.’
Putman on holiday. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1991 after his victim said she was punched so hard she thought her head would cave in
A friend of Mr Knibbs suggested that his suicide was linked to the alleged scam.
He told The Sun: 'I would expect [Giles] was aiming to get financial benefit. I think he received some.
'They fell out which is why it all came to a head.'
Putman was reportedly quizzed by police two weeks after Mr Knibbs took his own life.
It remains unclear which lottery draw Putman won, although a £2,525,485 jackpot from March 11, 2009, went unclaimed until shortly before the September 7 deadline.
The winning ticket was reported to have been bought in the Worcester or Malvern areas.
Yesterday the Gambling Commission said that £2.5million of the fine represented ‘the amount that would have been received by good causes had the prize claim not been paid’.
It said that while it ‘could not be certain a fraud had taken place, it was more likely than not that a fraudulent prize claim had been made and paid out’.
The commission ruled that Camelot had breached the terms of its lottery operating licence over control of its databases, the way it investigated prize claims and its processes ‘around the decision to pay a prize’. Camelot chief executive Andy Duncan apologised for the firm’s failures and said such an incident was ‘not repeatable today’.
The house in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, where the benefit fraudster Putman lived in June 2012
He said: ‘Effectively, a claim was made with a deliberately damaged ticket, we believe. The prize that was paid out for that claim was £2.5million.
'That person submitted a claim, it went through the normal prize payout process and at the time, based on the evidence available, from what we can see after the event albeit a long time ago, that seemed to be a reasonable decision to have made based on the evidence at that time.
'It was only when subsequent evidence came to light in autumn of 2015 that it cast doubt on the original decision.
'So it couldn’t have been known at the time.’
The boss of Camelot explained that the claim went through the normal prize payout process and at the time, based on evidence, it was a reasonable decision. The subsequent evidence did not come to light until Autumn 2015. Pictured: Putman leaves court in 2012
Mr Duncan declined to say whether the alleged fraud was an inside job, or whether the firm still possessed the allegedly dodgy ticket. Hertfordshire Police confirmed that a man had been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation but then released without charge.
A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said: ‘It is right that the Gambling Commission has acted in this case and assured us that Camelot has put controls in place to mitigate against any similar licence breach in the future.’
Putman did not respond to requests for comment.
SHEER BRUTALITY OF THIS BRAZEN PSYCHOPATH
When Edward Putman’s lottery win was made public, the woman he raped when she was 17 described him as a ‘brazen psychopath’.
During the attack, he punched his victim so hard she thought her head would ‘cave in’.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was living in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in the early 1990s when she was attacked.
Putman, now 51, broke into her home and sat next to her in her living room where he flicked cigarette ash at her, pulled her hair and was abusive towards her before pushing her into a room.
‘He beat the **** out of me,’ she told the Daily Mail in a previous interview. ‘He punched my head so hard I thought it would cave in. Then he raped me. Afterwards he sat on the bed and said, “Oh my God. I know what I’ve just done”. I patronised him to get him to leave and said, “You’re just drunk. Go home”. He went down the stairs but then came up and did it again.’
Putman was convicted of rape, indecent assault and perverting the course of justice in January 1993 at Northampton Crown Court and served four years of his sentence.
Before his conviction he also tried to intimidate a witness who had seen him in the house into withdrawing their testimony.
He has also been convicted of wounding with intent in a case from the mid-1980s.
Putman, who lives in a £700,000 detached house in Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, declined publicity when he was awarded the lottery jackpot.
But details of his win emerged when he was taken to court for claiming £13,000 benefits after winning his jackpot. He was jailed for nine months in 2012 after the court heard how the multi-millionaire wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions and his council to say he was borrowing money and selling possessions to make ends meet.
The housing and council tax benefit and income support he received amounted to only four weeks’ interest on his jackpot.
The fraud was revealed after he tried to buy his council house in cash and suspicious officials began probing his finances.
Jailing him, Judge Andrew Bright said: ‘This was planned and premeditated and, I am satisfied, was motivated by sheer greed. Though you had won the lottery you carried on claiming benefits to which you were not entitled. Your greed was on a scale which, frankly, defies belief.’
By comparison, his rape victim received a mere £4,000 from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for her suffering.
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