GBP2.5 million 'insider' lottery fraud report labelled a cover up by deputy leader of the Labour Party
The UK Gambling Commission's heavily redacted report on a GBP2.5 million national lottery pay-out awarded to an allegedly fraudulent claimant with insider connections has attracted wide criticism that includes accusations of a cover up by Tom Watson, deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper, Watson said:
'It seems the Great Lotto Robbery is in danger of turning into the Great Lotto Cover-up. Whilst the Gambling Commission have taken action against Camelot for its failure, the public will rightly want to see further action taken by authorities in order to recoup the money fraudulently taken.'
InfoPowa readers may recall that lottery claimant Edward Putman submitted an allegedly deliberately damaged lotto ticket to lottery operator Camelot, after receiving insider information regarding where and when an unclaimed lottery prize ticket was bought from Camelot fraud department employee Giles Knibbs.
Putman is alleged to have used this information to buy a ticket with the same winning numbers from the same shop, deliberately erasing parts of the barcode before submitting the damaged ticket and alleging it referred to the unclaimed prize.
Camelot paid Putman, who had allegedly agreed to share the spoils of the fraud with Knibbs.
However the two later fell out, a police investigation ensued and Knibbs took his own life. His family reported their suspicions of the fraud to the police, and although Putman was subsequently arrested he was released without charges due to a lack of evidence on the scam.
Reports circulated that part of the missing evidence was the fraudulent lotto ticket, which was apparently lost whilst in Camelot's care.
The Daily Mail, which has been closely following the story, reported Friday that 195 of the 270 pages of the Commission's report on the fraud have been redacted either in part or in full.
It did establish that Putman waited almost six months to claim his winnings and did so just ten days before the deadline, noting that this should have aroused suspicions.
'The circumstances of the claim made it an exceptional one… which should have caused concern,' the report observes, noting that Putnam's win was likely ill-gotten.
It does not appear that any specific reasons – other than the very general "public interest" catch-all – have been given for the extensive redactions in the report.
A rather nebulous media-speak quote from a Commission spokesman printed by the Mail claims:
'We believe the public interest does favour the disclosure of certain parts of the information. There is, however, still material which remains exempt… where the public interest balance favours maintaining the exemption and withholding information.'
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa