LOTTERY conman Edward Putman is secretly engaged — to a woman who has gone into hiding with his stolen millions still missing, The Sun can reveal.
Lita Stephens, 64, who was presented with a stunning diamond ring and has had cash put into her name, is said to be lying low to avoid the fallout from the rapist’s stolen jackpot conviction.
Close pals say the pair remain an item and loyal Lita is one of the only people fraudster Putman, 54, can still trust.
Putman transferred £466,000 to Lita when he “bought” the property from her that they already lived in together – giving him access to the cash but putting the land into his name.
He also bought the gran a £450,000 property, in Hemel Hempstead, Herts., while the pair are rumoured to investments in Florida and Malta.
It puts the amount of Putman’s stolen £2.5million lottery potentially he could have turned into assets in Lita’s name at as much as £1million.
Meanwhile a legal order on Putman’s tatty scrapyard home means the lout is unable to sell the plot – valued at up to £1million – without permission from a third party.
A close family friend said: “He is not swindling her. Why would he put a big rock on her finger and then try and swindle her out of money for the house?
“He bought the property for her in Hemel Hempstead as far as I know and there might be one in Malta as well.
“They drive around in brand new cars all the time, she has got the rock on her finger and they have got properties like everywhere.”
Another close friend told The Sun: “I know Eddie. It’s always been about the money with him.
“He loved Lita. I think that’s why she’s stuck with him when others would have written him off as a monster.
“But I don’t believe for one minute he bought her any of those things to be romantic. The way his brain works, he’ll have been seeing the benefit to him.
“He knew by turning everything into houses and cars and properties and jewellery it would always be there if he needed it.”
Pals told how Lita was a recent widow when Putman made advances towards her around 2006.
‘ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY’
At the time he was sticking to a story with close pals that he had been in jail for raping his ex-wife.
It only letter emerged the sicko had forced himself on a vulnerable 17-year-old, who was three-months pregnant at the time of the attack, in 1991.
Despite the sex attack and his 2012 conviction for a £13k benefit fraud Putman and Lita hit it off and he moved into the property builder Putman had always coveted.
Following his shock 2009 jackpot win Lita became the “perfect place” for his to start stashing his assets, friends say.
Land Registry records show Lita sold her family home to Putman for £466,000 in March 2011 – two years after his jackpot win.
Despite Lita’s Facebook profile listing her as ‘single,’ reliable family sources have told The Sun she is still in a relationship with Putman and plans to “Stick by his side”.
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Putman was sentenced to nine years earlier this month for stealing £2.5m from the lottery, with a tatty, ripped fake ticket made for him be a Camelot insider.
Putman’s barrister Lawrence Selby told St Albans crown court: “Mrs Stephens is going to suffer as a result of his incarceration.”
The court is set to to start proceedings against Putman for a confiscation order. Lita Stephens was uncontactable for comment.
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