Alleged Lottery Cheating leads to Tragedy, Court Trial

Missing bar code leads alleged lottery cheat to UK court.

Missing Bar Code leads Alleged Lottery Cheat to UK CourtThey say cheaters never win, and winners never cheat. In some cases, cheaters do win, for a while, but their indiscretion tends to catch up with them in the long run. Call it fate; call it karma; call it an ominous court date for October 16, 2018.

That’s the day 53-year-old Edward Putman will faces accusations of fraud for a lottery cheating scandal that dates back to 2009. If convicted, at the least, Putman would be forced to repay the £2.5 million lottery winnings he claimed nearly a decade ago.

Initial Investigation of £2.5mm Lottery Cheat

When the lottery ticket was first claimed oh-so-long ago, it raised a number of red flags. Those flags should have been enough to stop Camelot, operator of the UK National Lottery, from paying out the claim. Instead, Camelot delivered the 7-figure jackpot prize, despite highly suspicious circumstances.

The problem is that every UK lottery ticket that is printed contains a series of information. The time of printing, the draw date, the numbers, these are what most ticket buyers look at. But each one should also contain a special bar code. This is the code that is scanned by retailers and claims centers to validate the ticket, doubly verifying all of the information above it…

Mr. Putman’s winning lottery ticket did not have a bar code.

Following Camelot’s distribution of the multi-million prize, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) launched a lengthy investigation into the matter. In 2015, Putman was cleared of all suspicion, with no charges laid against him. Regulators were unable to come up with any evidence that he had used a fake ticket to claim the winnings.

Camelot wasn’t so lucky, though. The operator’s failure to deny the claim pending investigation cost them more than the claim itself. The company was fined £3 million for paying what UKGC termed a “highly likely” case of fraud.

Camelot Determined to Pin Putman for the Crime

Unsettled by the UKGC’s decision, Camelot wasn’t willing to let the matter go. The lottery operator spent the last three years investigation the situation and building evidence against Mr. Putman. What they uncovered was an alleged lottery cheating scheme that goes way deeper than originally thought.

According to a suit filed in UK courts, Putman wasn’t working alone. Prosecutors allege that he had the help of Giles Knibbs, an inside man working for Camelot in 2009. Knibbs had access to ticket printing machines, and according to the company, gave Putman information about an unclaimed lottery ticket—the original ticket they say was intentionally and fraudulently mimicked by Knibbs, then claimed by Putman.

As the investigation went on, and accusations began to fly, tragedy struck. In August 2017, Giles Knibbs committed suicide. Now, Edward Putman is left to face the charges alone. Prosecution will present its case on October 16, at which time Putman will have to explain how he came into possession of a winning lottery ticket without a tell-tale bar code.

If the alleged lottery cheat is found guilty, the Proceeds of Crime Act will require him to repay the £2.5 million prize he claimed back in 2009. As for flagrant fraud, the judge will decide what punishment, if any, is in order. For Camelot, it will represent majority recompense for the fine incurred in 2015 for negligence.

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