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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 18:58 GMT
Game show cheat Ingram bankrupt
Charles Ingram
Ingram could face a jail term if he fails to pay the court fine
Game show cheat Charles Ingram has been declared bankrupt, it has emerged.

The ex-Army major, of High Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, has presented a Debtor's Petition to a Bath County Court judge declaring himself bankrupt.

Ingram, 41, wife Diana, and college lecturer Tecwen Whittock were convicted of deception and fined after winning Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Ingram and his wife went to court in October to plead poverty and beg for financial mercy.

Ingram, his wife and Whittock were each fined 15,000 and ordered to pay 10,000 costs, in addition to 18-month suspended jail sentences for the deception.

Defence costs

Their ruse centred on Ingram using coughs from Whittock, who sat among the other contestants, to steer himself to the correct answers in the popular quiz show.

But despite bankruptcy, Ingram could face a jail term if he fails to pay the 15,000 court fine.

A spokeswoman from the Insolvency Service said: "A fine imposed by a criminal court is not included when you are declared bankrupt.

"A person who has declared themselves bankrupt would therefore still have to pay this fine or face jail."

The spokeswoman said she was not able to reveal the extent of Ingram's debts.

Earlier this year, the Ingrams went back to London's Southwark Crown Court and asked trial judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC to reduce their combined defence contributions of 65,000.

The judge accused the couple of "cynically manipulating" their finances to avoid paying back the costs.

He did, however, agree to halve the contributions to 30,000.

Ingram failed to win a 265,000 civil suit against the show's production company Celador International, in which he tried to force the company to hand over the withheld prize money.

Quiz cheat has defence costs cut
21 Oct 04 |  Wiltshire
TV quiz cheat loses his appeal
19 May 04 |  Wiltshire
The man behind the scams
28 Oct 03 |  Wiltshire

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