Antiques dealer jailed for forging signature of Winston Churchill

Allan Formhals 
By: Hydar Tomar 

Be careful when buying expensive antiques and/or signed memorabilia, they might just be fraudulent.

A British antiques dealer was sentenced to 10 months in prison on Friday, for forging the signatures of famous people, including Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth I, and Marie Antoinette, among others on collector's items. He later sold them on ebay as authentic.

People tend to believe qualified and licensed antiques dealers, yet one has to be very careful.

Allan Formhals, 66, was convicted of 10 counts of fraud. Police searched his home in Hampshire, and found other fake signed items, including Pablo Picasso and Oliver Cromwell.

Formhals claimed to have found the items at garage sales and recycling centers. Formhals also
claimed that one of the Churchill books came from the home of late World War Two fighter Ace Neville Duke, who lived near him.

It was proven in court that the signatures were false, and that Formhals actually signed the books and sold them to collectors online. He made more than $11,000 by defrauding buyers.

At sentencing, Judge Peter Henry called the fraud "widespread and planned, making him significant profits,” according to reports.