[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Millionaire cheat sacked by Army
Diana and Charles Ingram
The Ingrams said they were planning a family holiday
The major who cheated his way to the top prize on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? has been thrown out of the Army.

Major Charles Ingram, who used an accomplice's coded coughs to answer questions on the quiz, was asked to resign his commission.

The former Royal Engineer confirmed that he had agreed to resign on Thursday.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the circumstances of Major Ingram's departure would not affect his pension entitlements.

I very much regret that the pressures associated with recent events have made it impossible for me to complete my full term of military service
Major Charles Ingram

Reading from a written statement, Mr Ingram admitted the court proceedings had caused the Army embarrassment.

"My service in the Army is and will remain a source of pride," he said.

"I very much regret that the pressures associated with recent events have made it impossible for me to complete my full term of military service as I had hitherto envisaged."

The Bosnian veteran - who had 17 years service in the Army - received a letter on Thursday morning from the Army board of inquiry, telling him to leave by 20 August.

Salary cut-off

The MoD spokeswoman said: "An administrative investigation was carried out by the chain of command following the fact that he was found guilty of deception.

"The Army Board has delivered its findings and requested that Major Ingram resign his commission.

"We can confirm that he has resigned his commission and will leave the Army on August 20."

Major Ingram, on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
The idea that Diana and I will be able to live a life of ease without obtaining future employment is, I am afraid, an illusion
Major Charles Ingram

Major Ingram was convicted earlier this year of deception, along with his wife Diana and college lecturer Tecwen Whittock, 53.

The Ingrams, both 39, were each fined 15,000, ordered to pay 10,000 costs, and received 18-month prison sentences, suspended for two years.

Ingram has received an administrative discharge which means he keeps his commission and rank but is forced into retirement.

The father-of-three will lose his five-bedroom house in Easterton, which is currently rented by the Army on his behalf, but he does get to keep his pension.

Banned

His Army salary will be cut off one month after the decision.

The Ingrams have received various offers of work since their appearance in court, which made headlines around the world.

Although they are banned by law from profiting from their crime in the UK, they could make money from it by working abroad.

Speaking on Thursday, Major Ingram said contrary to reports that he and his wife could give up work, they were in fact fighting to be able to stay at their home.

"The idea that Diana and I will be able to live a life of ease without obtaining future employment is, I am afraid, an illusion," he added.

Co-defendant Whittock, from Whitchurch, Cardiff, was sentenced to 12 months in prison by the judge in the trial, also suspended for two years, and was fined 10,000 and ordered to pay 7,500 in costs.




SEE ALSO:
Cheating major faces sack
02 Jul 03  |  UK
Millionaire scam to become film
22 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Major gives the game away
22 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Millionaire cheats left 'devastated'
21 Apr 03  |  Entertainment


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific