British dealer jailed for faking Churchill's signature

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. (QMI Agency file photo)

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. (QMI Agency file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:01 PM ET

A British antiques dealer was sentenced to 10 months in jail Friday for forging the famous signatures of Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette, and others, on collector items he sold on eBay.

Allan Formhals, 66, was convicted of 10 counts of fraud in October.

Police searched his Milford-on-Sea home in Hampshire and found an "Aladdin's Cave" of bogus autographs, including Pablo Picasso and Oliver Cromwell.

Court heard Formhals found the books at garage sales and recycling centres before penning the fake signatures, and selling them to collectors online.

Judge Peter Henry called the fraud "widespread and planned, making him significant profit," the BBC reported.

He made more than $11,000 by defrauding two customers, court heard.

Formhals claimed one of the Churchill books came from the home of late Second World War fighter ace Neville Duke, who lived near him.


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