Allan Formhals forged signatures of Winston Churchill and Robert Louis Stevenson

Allan Formhals

Allan Formhals

First published in News

A HAMPSHIRE antiques dealer who duped unsuspecting collectors by forging the signatures in books of famous writers like Sir Winston Churchill and Robert Louis Stevenson was jailed for 10 months today.

Allan Formhals found the books and magazines in car boot sales and a recycling centre, added the signatures and then sold them on eBay to collectors as the real thing.

He made £6,967 defrauding two collectors after also lying about the provenance of the items.

Southampton Crown Court heard that Formhals, of Keyhaven Road, Milford-on-Sea, was in poor health and suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis.

Imposing the jail term, Judge Peter Henry said the fraud was widespread, planned and significant profit was made from it, but he took into account Formhals's bad health and reduced the sentence.

''It's always sad to see a person of 66 years of age convicted by a jury of a serious fraud particularly as you have no previous convictions,'' he said.

''It must be made perfectly clear that those who are tempted to indulge in this type of fraud, particularly over the internet, must understand the consequences.''

Police found ''an Aladdin's Cave'' of forged signatures from Oliver Cromwell, Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette among others when the 66-year-old's home was searched, the judge said.

Formhals denied 15 charges of fraud from 2009 to 2011 but was found guilty of 10 counts in October.

During the trial, the court heard Formhals claimed in emails that the Churchill books came from the home of a famous Second World War fighter ace, Squadron Leader Neville Duke, who lived near him in Milford-on-sea in Hampshire and was a friend of the wartime leader. He had died in 2007.

He was also acquitted of two counts and the jury could not decide on a further three counts.

Comments (5)

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11:34am Fri 21 Dec 12

Subject48 says...

So some old geezer gets 10 months despite poor health, for making £6,067 by lying to stupid people who threw money at him, but Moran who has stolen £53k from the taxpayer who did not volunteer to give money but is forced to by the government gets nothing!?

This is justice!?
So some old geezer gets 10 months despite poor health, for making £6,067 by lying to stupid people who threw money at him, but Moran who has stolen £53k from the taxpayer who did not volunteer to give money but is forced to by the government gets nothing!? This is justice!? Subject48
  • Score: 0

11:50am Fri 21 Dec 12

Sovietobserver says...

Should have been running that sort of business from offshore, only way to have a successful business these days.
Should have been running that sort of business from offshore, only way to have a successful business these days. Sovietobserver
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 21 Dec 12

4-front says...

Much cheaper and kinder than prison, a much more effective punishment would have been to give him 50 000 lines of handwriting over the next 6 months, viz;

"My pen was mightier than the sword until the law intervened - forging was surely a sign of the times for me!"

Wadayathink, nom de plumes?!
Much cheaper and kinder than prison, a much more effective punishment would have been to give him 50 000 lines of handwriting over the next 6 months, viz; "My pen was mightier than the sword until the law intervened - forging was surely a sign of the times for me!" Wadayathink, nom de plumes?! 4-front
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Fri 21 Dec 12

News Fanatic says...

Giving people such as Formhals a jail sentence makes me angry. Jail is expensive - it is our taxes that will pay to keep him there- Much better, if it was his first offfence would have been to fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud.

Prison should in most cases be reserved for dangerous criminals: the type who mug old ladies and hold up banks with guns. Only repeat offenders of the non-violent type should be jailed in my opinion.
Giving people such as Formhals a jail sentence makes me angry. Jail is expensive - it is our taxes that will pay to keep him there- Much better, if it was his first offfence would have been to fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud. Prison should in most cases be reserved for dangerous criminals: the type who mug old ladies and hold up banks with guns. Only repeat offenders of the non-violent type should be jailed in my opinion. News Fanatic
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Fri 21 Dec 12

whufan says...

News Fanatic wrote:
Giving people such as Formhals a jail sentence makes me angry. Jail is expensive - it is our taxes that will pay to keep him there- Much better, if it was his first offfence would have been to fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud.

Prison should in most cases be reserved for dangerous criminals: the type who mug old ladies and hold up banks with guns. Only repeat offenders of the non-violent type should be jailed in my opinion.
" fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud."
Why not fine him in real money?


Or at least make him write a cheque for it, maybe from Ghandi, or Michael Jackson!
[quote][p][bold]News Fanatic[/bold] wrote: Giving people such as Formhals a jail sentence makes me angry. Jail is expensive - it is our taxes that will pay to keep him there- Much better, if it was his first offfence would have been to fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud. Prison should in most cases be reserved for dangerous criminals: the type who mug old ladies and hold up banks with guns. Only repeat offenders of the non-violent type should be jailed in my opinion.[/p][/quote]" fine him a lot of money, certainly all he made from the fraud." Why not fine him in real money? Or at least make him write a cheque for it, maybe from Ghandi, or Michael Jackson! whufan
  • Score: 0

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