Edward Putman lived the good life for years after winning £2.5 million (US$3.13 million) in a lottery draw in the UK. However, all good things must come to an end, especially when you’re a convicted rapist and the lottery prize was the result of fraud.
Putnam spent seven years in jail beginning in 1993 after he was convicted of raping a 17-year-old pregnant girl, according to the media outlet The Mirror. He was then a free man for almost two decades before being tripped up by his lottery scheme.
Working with an employee at Camelot, the outgoing operator of the National Lottery, the 57-year-old hatched a plan to rob the lottery. With his winnings, he set off on trips around the world and bought a house and other lavish purchases.
Everything came to a grinding halt when the authorities eventually realized what had happened. They threw Putnam in jail once again, but refused to cooperate and relinquish his assets. Finally, the court system is trying to put everything in order.
The Anti-fraud Fraudster
Putnam landed in prison in 2019 for the fraud, 10 years after it happened. He had conspired with Giles Knibbs, who worked in Camelot’s fraud department, to pull off the job.
Knibbs was responsible for verifying a “winning” lottery ticket that Putnam miraculously “found” in his car. After signing off on the validity of the ticket, Putnam collected the money.
He shared the winnings with Knibbs per their arrangement and both began living large. However, Knibbs apparently began to feel that he wasn’t giving his fair share and may have also had experienced remorse.
Knibbs eventually told his family what had actually happened before committing suicide in 2015. Investigators found his notes about the lottery scheme and wanted to prosecute Putnam then, but couldn’t – the winning ticket was missing.
Two years later, another Camelot employee found it and the case was back on the table. Prosecutors were ready to go after Putnam and finally got a judge to sentence him to nine years in prison.
The Keys to the Castle
While living it up, Putnam had purchased a house and land in Hertfordshire, England. He also bought luxury cars and properties overseas, including in Florida and Malta.
After the courts found him guilty, the judge hit him with a judgment of £940,000 (US$1.18 million), but Putnam went down swinging. He refused to pay, even fighting the judgment despite his guilt. Ultimately, he only surrendered £100,000 (US$125,440).
That has forced the courts to take action and request permission from a higher court to repossess the real estate. The request has been approved, which will allow a court receiver to take ownership of the £700,000 (US$878,000) home and liquidate it. It will also be able to sell the property Putnam had purchased and intended to use for a hotel.
The receiver has to move quickly, however. Last October, a fire broke out in the abandoned house. Firefighters extinguished it and later determined that it was the work of an arsonist. It’s possible, although unproven, that Putnam had arranged the fire in order to keep it from being taken.
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