A National Lottery operator was ‘conned’ into paying out £2.5million by a Kings Langley man, a jury has heard today (Thursday, September 19).
The Lotto jackpot was paid to Edward Putman, now 54, who claimed the prize from Camelot in the March 11, 2009 draw.
It was just before the six-month deadline for claims that Mr Putman came forward with the ticket, which had been bought in the Co-op at St John’s Road, Worcester.
Camelot verified the ticket was genuine and Mr Putman of Station Road, Kings Langley, Herts collected £2,525,485.
The prosecution at St Albans Crown Court said he pulled off a scam with the help of Camelot insider Giles Knibbs, who worked for the company’s fraud detection department in Watford and knew how to cheat the system.
Mr Putnam, who arrived at court with his face masked and wearing dark glasses, denies that between August 28 and September 8, 2009, he dishonestly made a false representation alongside Giles Knibbs, namely produced a fraudulent National Lottery ticket, intending to make a gain (£2,525,485) for himself.
At the start of the trial, Judge Philip Grey told the jury of five men and seven women: “The allegation is a fraud on the National Lottery. The prosecution say the defendant won a significant sum of money by means of a forged lottery ticket.
“The defendant says the ticket was genuine and honest.”
Prosecutor, James Keeley, said the fraud came to light after Giles Knibbs, from Bricket Wood, Herts committed suicide at Ivinghoe Beacon in Bucks on October 5, 2015.
Opening the case, Mr Keeley said: “The fraud remained a secret until 2015. Although Mr Knibbs received some of the proceeds of the lottery win from the defendant, Mr Knibbs did not feel that he had received his fair share and felt let down by him.
“On any view, Mr Knibbs felt that the defendant had treated him unjustly. It was this sense of injustice that came to a head in June 2015.”
He said Knibbs visited Edward Putman’s home and there was an argument. It led Mr Putman to make allegations of burglary, blackmail and criminal damage against Giles Knibbs, who was arrested.
Mr Keeley said: “Mr Knibbs worked for Camelot between 2004 and 2010. The prosecution state that this allowed him the opportunity to create the false ticket. A false ticket that he gave to the defendant to cash in.”
He said the jackpot prize draw on March 11, 2009 remained unclaimed, but on Friday, August 28 that year – 170 days after the draw and just 10 days before the winning ticket was due to expire, the defendant called Camelot claiming he held the winning ticket.
“He was lying. He did not hold the winning ticket, but a forgery created by Mr Knibbs. The real winning ticket may still be out there for the real winner has never been identified,” said the prosecutor.
“You will hear evidence from Camelot in respect of the defendant submitting the ticket and the investigation that Camelot held in early 2009. The issue of concern was that the ticket was badly damaged, lacking the entire bottom section.
“This section of the ticket held important information, in particular a number called the GGuard reference number. This number was unique and was not to be found on any of Camelot’s system. Therefore Mr Knibbs could not have found this out and could not have created the GGuard number. It was convenience not coincidence that the ticket was ripped without this number. This ticket was a forgery.
“On September 8, 2009, Camelot concluded that the defendant was the genuine winner. However, they had been conned.”
This case is still proceeding. To stay up to date, keep checking www.mynewsmag.co.uk