British National Lottery conman Eddie Putman has been released early

Person unlocking prison door

The man who defrauded Britain’s National Lottery of £2.5 million in 2009 has been released from prison after serving less than half of his sentence. [Image:]

Conman outsmarted Camelot

British authorities have released a fraudster who defrauded the former operator of the national lottery Camelot out of a 2.5 million pound ($3.1 million) jackpot. Eddie Putman, 58, is a free man after serving less than 4.5 years of his nine-year prison sentence.

Judge Phillip Gray sentenced Putman to prison at St Albans Crown Court in 2019 after finding him guilty of fraud in the 2009 lottery scam.

hatched a plan to produce a fake and intentionally damaged lottery ticket

Putman and Camelot insider Giles Knibbs hatched a plan to present a fake and intentionally damaged National Lottery ticket to win the 2009 jackpot. Had Putman honored his deal with Knibbs to split the money, his lottery crime may never have come to light.

The massive fraud was uncovered in 2015 when Knibbs committed suicide over a dispute with Putman, but not before revealing details of the scam to friends, for which he was set to receive £1 million ($1.2 million).

Fraud fails

Judge Gray told Putman in 2019 that he could have gotten away with the crime if not for his greed. “Whatever the exact split of money that you and Mr. Knibbs agreed to, you did not pay him the split that he felt he was owed,” Gray stated, adding, “The two of you had a spectacular argument.”

Fearing he would go to prison for 10 to 15 years for extortion, Knibbs took his own life

The spectacular fallout peaked six years after winning the lottery, when an angry Knibbs confronted Putman in June 2015, smashed his car’s side mirrors and stole his cell phone. Putman reported the former employee of Camelot’s securities department to the police, who arrested Knibbs on charges of theft, extortion and aggravated damage to property. Fearing he would go to prison for 10 to 15 years for extortion, Knibbs took his own life.

What Then the couple’s cheating came to light, in which they conspired to counterfeit lottery tickets. The late Knibbs had claimed Putman went to 29 different lottery outlets with a different ticket before finding it at a Camelot store in High Wycombe in August 2009.

No one ever came forward to claim the real winning ticket, which was purchased in Worcester, UK.

Missing money puzzle

When Judge Gray sentenced Putman in 2019, he also ordered him to pay back £939,000 ($1.1 million) for the Camelot fraud.

What Putman did with the £3.1 million remains a mystery, as he was sent to prison for nine months for falsely stealing £13,000 ($16,409) in housing in 2012, just three years after his jackpot boom and had applied for income support.

Although Putman has since been released from prison, he is no stranger to time behind bars, having spent seven years in prison when authorities convicted him of raping a pregnant 17-year-old in 1993.

The Daily Star quoted a friend of Knibbs’ family on Sunday: worried about Putman’s early release, saying, “They never found out what he did with the money. It’s terrible.”

However, a Justice Department spokesman said offenders like Putman “are under strict supervision.” […] for the remainder of their sentence” and face a return to prison if they violate the conditions of their release.


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