Sami Sabet, 68, owned three Post Offices in East and West Sussex and was among more than 700 postmasters convicted due to the faulty Horizon system.
He has suffered severe PTSD and heart problems since his 2009 conviction, says the ordeal has taken years off his life.
The retired father of one admitted stealing after being told he faced jail if he denied the theft and was handed a suspended 12-month sentence.
In 2021 he was among 93 postmasters whose convictions were thrown out by the Court of Appeal. Ex-engineer Sami, from Shoreham, West Sussex, cleaned toilets in petrol stations after his conviction. Yesterday he welcomed Rishi Sunak’s announcement.
He said: “They should have thought about doing this years ago, instead of doing what everyone seemed to be doing – the bare minimum.
“People were very frightened to clear their names because they didn’t trust the Post Office.”
Due to health complications Sami did not join the original 555 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses led by Alan Bates who brought initial litigation against the Post Office. Mr Sunak announced this group will each be offered an upfront £75,000 but Sami worries it has not been thought through.
He said: “Is it going to affect everybody else and not just the 555 people who first brought legal action? Will it be used as an excuse not to pay the others? I don’t know.
“With inflation, the money is not worth what it was two years ago. So the longer it takes to pay the money, the more they will have to pay.”
Sami would be satisfied for his fellow victims but far from pleased with £75,000. He said: “I am happy for everyone who is going to get their convictions quashed – most if not all of them deserve it. It has come a little too late for some of them… But better late than never.
“When talking about compensation, we are talking about almost 20 years of suffering, loss of income, property, business costs, reputation, inability to get good jobs, health issues…
“If it’s an interim payment, and they start looking at how people can be properly compensated, that would be fair. But not £75,000.”
Sami’s lawyers are now calculating the compensation he should be paid.