A conman from Kings Langley has been jailed after cashing in a fake Lottery ticket to claim a £2.5 million jackpot.
Edward Putman, 54, from Station Road, conspired with a Camelot insider to cheat the system and present a counterfeit slip to claim the outstanding top prize in 2009.
The builder hatched the plot with friend Giles Knibbs - who then worked in the securities department at the Lottery operator - with the pair submitting a deliberately damaged forgery just before the 180-day limit to stake claims expired.
But the fraud unravelled after Mr Knibbs confessed to friends that he had "conned" the Lottery before taking his own life after an angry row about how the winnings were divided.
Putman appeared at St Albans Crown Court today (Friday) after being found guilty of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Detective chief inspector Sam Khanna, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious Fraud and Cyber Unit said: “This has been a very complex investigation, which only came to light after new information was received in 2015.
"Until that point the claim was assessed to be valid. The original ticket that was submitted was badly damaged but the defendant was able to provide sufficient information around the purchase of the ticket to enable the prize to be paid.
“In 2015 new information was received that the ticket had been faked and at this stage it was reported to Hertfordshire Constabulary. The investigation was long and complicated and opportunities to obtain evidence were minimal. The case hinged upon whether the ticket was genuine or not.
“The sentence handed out by the judge reflects the serious nature of the offence and the amount of time and resources it has taken to investigate and bring this case to court.
"Putman has illegally obtained a large amount of money he was not entitled to and we will be referring the this case to the Eastern Regional Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize his assets and recover as much of the money as we can.”