TUVALU AND THE LEADERS OF THE WORLD – A PHILATELIC
by Brian Cannon
Although this article is written based on the legal proceedings initiated
by the government of Tuvalu, stamps of other countries were also involved,
including Gibraltar, the Republic of Kiribati, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines, Montserrat, the Virgin Islands, and St. Lucia.
Word processing by Amanda
Due to so much use of this one article by numerous collectors, dealers and forum users insisting on using it to enforce
their inaccurate and biased opinions on stamps produced by the Format International Security Printers as a whole, I have
added notes to this article showing the inaccuracies, exaggerations and false statements included within this article
which has created much of the controversy over the stamp issues produced by this company in the 1980's.
Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau was established in December 1975, shortly after legal
separation of the Ellice Islands from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, which occurred two months
earlier. The first postage stamps of the new colony, renamed to Tuvalu, were to
be released on January 1st, 1976. This was the date that full
administrative autonomy would be transferred to the capital, Funafuti.
Until my research on the Format Printing company went public, this article was the only source of information on the company
that was available to the public on the internet.
I do not wish to portray Mr. Feigenbaum and associates as ethical or moral in any sense with the production of stamps
as far as creating "errors" on purpose. I only wish to show that the compilation of articles made by the Exporter were
indeed made with bias against the defendants because they were proven to create "errors" for profits. In a legal sense,
the defendants proved they were allowed to produce them via signed contracts. With only the contracts and a few letters
used as evidence on the defendants side, the thousands of documents and approximately two tons of stamps that were confiscated
and used against them by the prosecution did nothing to find the defendants guilty of any crimes.
The trials actually exposed what the majority of philatelic agencies and stamp printers have been doing since the 1960's and
are still doing to this day.
Because of the bias (which is understandable) against the defendants in this trial, the compiled articles use inaccurate statements,
overexaggeration of evidence, hearsay and in some parts complete fabrication of non truthful wording.
Because of this one article that was placed onto the internet after the trials, public opinion has been swayed into believing
that the Format printers are the only ones guilty of producing "made for collector" errors and varieties. This is simply not
true and is easily shown just by what is being sold on the market and what is surfacing in recent times. the standard practices
of stamp agencies and printers around the world is to destroy all documentation usually within a year after stamps are issued.
This is why the documents used in the trial are so important. Nothing like them has ever been made public before or since the trial.
If The House of Questa, Waddingtons, Cartor or any other printer were placed in the same situation, it would be proven that
they to were producing made for collector errors and varieties in the same way. Some not to the same extent, usually creating
watermark errors and flyspeck flaws to others that have created "errors" like inverted overprints and such on a massive
scale far beyond what the Format printers did. I show this evidence on other pages on the website.
I have all of the evidence to back up my notes on this page. You may ask what evidence that is....
It is the trial documents used by both sides which can prove everything I note. It is therefore not to wise to try to challenge
me on it because as some forum leaders (you know who you are) have tried in the past to disprove what I state, I can easily
override it with the documents. therefore, unless you have documents that can be proven as official there really is nothing
you can challenge this with. Words are just words as much of this article is compiled from.
Here we go!
Earlier in 1975, a British firm
called Philatelists Limited approached the soon-to-be administrators of the new
colony and were able to secure a contractual agreement whereby they would
undertake the management of the Bureau and help with stamp subject issues. This firm already had a similar contract with
the government of St. Vincent in the West Indies, which was a successful
venture at the time.
This statement makes the reader think that Philatelists limited secured a contract with Tuvalu in 1975. They did not.
The British Crown Agents got the contract. Philatelists Ltd. got the contract starting in 1977. Two stamp agencies that
are competitors do not run contracts with the country at the same time. Philatelists Ltd. and the British Crown
Agents were competitors. They were never "partners".
Philatelists Limited had been
aggressively approaching smaller countries with the offer of establishing a
philatelic service, complete with staff training and recommendation on “wise”
policies, recommended stamp issues, and staff training. For this service the
company might typically receive 25% of the gross sales or ask a 20%
shareholding in a Government Controlled Limited Liability Company specifically
set up to run a Bureau on commercial lines. The only additional charge was in
respect of the salary, travel and accommodation expenses of a trained Bureau
Manager whom they could provide. Philatelists Ltd. could provide all capital
required to set up and equip a Bureau and then be reimbursed as a first charge
on subsequent profits.
This section of the article is based on a writers knowledge from hearsay. If the writer knew anything
about the contracts at all they would have known that Philatelists Ltd. contracts do indeed give the country
all the above mentioned amenities but their percentages are fabricated I suppose out of the writers own head.
The contracts gave the country a specified quantity of stamps for free for use inside the country. The agency
had a specified quantity of stamps produced that they would sell to the worldwide market. The agency paid the
country a specified and agreed to amount for each issue that was produced for that country. The country was free to
profit from the quantities issued to the country as long as sales were restricted to inside the country only.
The agency paid for all the amenities mentioned above. They received nothing from gross sales of stamps sold
within Tuvalu and the islands. They held no "shareholding" in any "government" anything.
In 1976, printing of Tuvalu's
stamps was contracted out to the Crown Agents of London, responsible for
similar tasks for many other colonies for well over 100 years. However, with
the first stamp issue in 1977, Philatelists Limited also took over control of
the designing and printing of all issues. In effect, they gained complete
control of the production of Tuvaluan postage stamps, once a new issue had been
approved by the Tuvalu Stamp Advisory Committee. No doubt they had considerable influence on
the stamp subjects, especially given the obvious lack of philatelic knowledge
by the government of the new colony of Tuvalu.
The contract gave the government of Tuvalu an established income that was a dependable source of revenue and
was at the time almost their sole source of income for the country.
This is proven by the actual contracts shown as evidence in the trial.
That is right...I have a copy.
Here the article makes you think that Philatelists Ltd. was involved in Tuvalu's philatelic affairs in 1976.
Stating Philatelists Ltd. "also" took over control of the designing and printing" and so forth. Until the 1977
contract went into effect Philatelists Ltd. had nothing to do with anything in Tuvalu! They were not about
to invest time and funds into giving Tuvalu a philatelic bureau without a contract!
In 1980, the firm's name was
changed to Philatelists (1980) Limited, under the control of Ronald Grover of
On December 19, 1983, Tuvalu undertook
a contract with Philatelic Ltd. and Philatelist Caribbean Ltd. and those
companies acquired the rights to produce and distribute Tuvalu stamps.
Participating in the program for the series, Leaders of the World (LOW), Tuvalu
released Locomotives, Part 1, on February 29, 1984. This issue consisted of 4
values, see tenant (8 stamps) and during that year alone a total of 24 sets
consisting of 246 stamps were issued in the LOW programme.
Dates of contracts and their details are not known.
Right here is proof of fabrication and conjecture by the author. The statement "dates of contracts and
their details are not known" basically blows the first part of this article apart because it shows the author
does not know anything about the contracts at all.
On January 15, 1987, receivers were appointed at Philatelist
which were thought to have £20 million of LOW unsold
stock. Issue No. 13 of this magazine
reported the Tuvalu Government appointed a UK solicitor to purchase and dispose
of all stock of Tuvalu stamps and that printers were paid directly for these.
Format International Security Printers, Ltd. was also in financial difficulties
through their association with the LOW issues and Clive Feigenbaum acquired 60% of the shares.
Here also the author shows his true intent in the article. To exaggerate, fabricate and get you on his side
of his personal agenda to devalue the stamps and defame the defendants. Stating "During that year alone"
for example. The use of one word can formulate a subconscious feeling in unknowing readers and the author uses it
in quite professional way throughout this article. Indeed the number is correct of stamps that were issued that year.
What the author does though is to include every stamp not noting they were in matched pairs (image stamp plus detail stamp)
thus cutting the number in half. The author does not note also that the majority were for the eight different islands
or as some relate...atolls...of Tuvalu. I also note that he includes the Automobiles issues in the count as well.
Note the gaps in time in the above portions. 1977, 1980, 1983, next 1987.
Also in January 1987 the London
and New York International Stamp Company Ltd. (LYNI) and Philatelic
Distribution Corporation Ltd. (PDC) paid £300,000 for the right to reprint
certain stamps whether reprinting was subject to the Tuvalu Government giving
consent is not certain.
The Government of Tuvalu entered
into a contract with Philatelic Distribution Corporation Ltd. (PDC) in June
1987. PDC under a further agreement purchased from the Tuvalu government some
16 million stamps for £65,000. Over 2 million were alleged to be flawed.
A further contract, which was to
give rise to litigation, was made on the 17th of October 1987
between PDC and Tuvalu. Tuvalu gave PDC strictly defined rights to design,
produce, sell and distribute thematic stamps for Tuvalu and its Islands.
Clauses in this contract required stamps to be produced “under the supervision
of PDC by a security printers acceptable to the
government” and required PDC to “uphold the integrity of the Government”. PDC
used the printers, Format International Security Printers, Ltd.
This section is a slurry of sentences about "contracts" which the writer uses to make you think
he is knowledable about them.
By March 1988,
the Tuvalu Government suspected this contract was being breached. They were
concerned about advertisements which offered flawed Tuvalu stamps. During a
series of communications with Clive Feigenbaum at
PDC, Tuvalu were misled about the relationship between PDC and Format; nor were
they informed that Format had been instructed to print a substantial quantity
of flawed stamps. Instead, Tuvalu was told that Format were extremely reliable and made
every effort to minimize the risk of errors during printing. However, the
Tuvalu Government made it clear that Format were not to be used as printers but
PDC continued to give orders to Format.
The first part stating about the £20 million in stamps. Here you see where Clive Feigenbaum (the enemy)
comes into play. What you don't catch is that it shows up until 1987...he was not involved with the reprinting of LOTW issues.
Now what is really interesting is this. Note the £20 million that was "purchased" by the UK solicitor. Then note
the PDC's purchase of 16 million stamps for £65,000 from the Tuvalu government! Get it? The author has
used wording to make you think about it in a twisted sense. The first part should be "£20 million face value stamps".
The purchase by PDC for £65,000 was the "buyback" of that same stock! the author proposes that the UK solicitor was to
"dispose" of the stamps making you think he was going to destroy them. It is all twisted up.
The fact is that Philatelists Ltd. collapsed. The fact is that the Format Printers got into financial difficulties because
Philatelists Ltd. collapsed. Association with LOW issues were only a fraction of what the Format Printers were producing for
Philatelists Ltd. for countries all over the world. The UK solicitor was representing the newly formed Philatelic Distribution Corporation.
The LOTW stamps and the rights to them were simply transfered over from one agency to the other. The new agency (PDC) made a
new contract with Tuvalu and the reprint agreement was part of that contract! The author wants you to think that Tuvalu
might not have given "consent" to it. They signed, they "consented", and they lost this trial because of it!
In this portion of the article the author tries to make you think that something new happened with the PDC "using" the
Format International Security Printers. during the years 1977 to 1987 Philatelists Ltd. used Format and the House of Questa
for all printings of Tuvalu stamps. There is nothing new here. PDC just continued to use the same printers.
Here is one more note on this section. Now if Tuvalu did not want "flawed" stamps being sold of their issues....why did they
sell PDC 2 million "alleged" flawed stamps. What was the PDC going to do with them. Admire them for all eternity??
On the 3rd of March, the Tuvalu Government terminated the contract of the 7th of
October, 1987. They also sought and were granted injunctions restraining any
production or dealing in material bearing the name of Tuvalu or the use of
printing materials. The 'ordered material' were described as:
any stamps or other articles of Philately and all plates dies artwork materials
and other goods....bearing the name of Tuvalu or any of its islands and produced
by or for or at the direction or at the direction of any of the Defendants.”
It is here that nobody knows the true facts of what really happened and why the contract
with PDC was terminated.
Variations to this order were agreed. March 7th, Mr. Fred Hughes, on behalf of
Format, undertook not to use any ordered materials including a number of plates
locked away on their premises. On April 25th, Mr. Roger Apsey, stock controller of PDC, Mr. Allan Hayward,
financial adviser and controller of the group of companies, Mr. Clive
Feigenbaum and LYNI undertook not to dispose of or remove
or tamper with ordered materials with the exception of certain authorized and
unflawed stamps. Feigenbaum stressed the losses that
might be made without these variations. (For example, LYNI would suffer a loss
of £465,000 and be liable to pay compensation to its
From the trial documents on the defense side of the trial was shown a letter sent to the Tuvalu government
dated March 1, 1988 written by Mr. Clive Feigenbaum representing the PDC stating that the Tuvalu government
had breached the contract by offering their stamp issues that had been given to them for free for resale in
their own country through various ads by competitor agents and dealers to the worldwide market.
Also proposed by the letter was changes be to made to the contract with Tuvalu to drastically reduce the number
of issues being produced for the islands because of bad publicity and non listing in the major catalogs.
This would have been a major blow to the financial income that the Tuvalu government was enjoying over the past
ten years from stamp revenues. Being a major source of income it would harm their economy and lining of certain
parties pockets within Tuvalu and thus because they knew they were about to lose it, in a desperate attempt to
possibly gain one more large financial sum, they started this trial by the accusations noted and filed on March 3, 1988.
The letter basically blew Tuvalu's accusations of breaches apart!
Meanwhile, on the 18th of April, an employee of PDC gave an order to Format to print
Tuvalu stamps and Format complied. In accordance with the then existing
arrangements with PDC, Format was required to print approximately 21,000 sets
of unflawed stamps and 14,000 sets of flawed stamps, a total order of almost 4
million stamps with a rough value of £2 million. This was essentially a repeat
of an order made prior to any court proceedings. In addition, the marketing
manager of Philatelic Collections, Ltd. had placed an order for album pages for
Tuvalu stamps. Breaches continued until the beginning of May, 1989.
Here the author winds up with accusations. The author consistently uses the word "flawed" stamps. The "flawed"
stamps were not all "flawed". They were the limited imperforates, Specimen overprinted and progressive color proofs
used for promotions of the series. Yes, 3,000 sets missing color or misperfed were also ordered. That is a lot
less than 14,000. I have the invoices for them that were used in the trial. The invoices show the breakdown of what was ordered.
On April 27 1988, Scotland Yard Fraud Squad together with officers of the Gibraltar Fraud Squad
executed a search warrant at Format's premises where Detective Constable
Faulds saw a substantial quantity of Tuvalu stamps which
had just been printed. On May 14th, they removed thousands of stamps
bearing the name of Tuvalu as well as other material.
The author uses tactics of vagueness to make you think that Format continued to breach court orders
by printing more Tuvalu stamps that were stopped. The stamps being reprinted were protected under the reprint agreement and thus
the Tuvalu government lost the case.. Even the mentioned album pages were covered. Therefore in a legal sense
the above proposed "breaches" were not breaches at all!
The author tries to portray the reprinting of 21,000 sets as something massive when indeed it was simply a series
of LOTW trains for the Tuvalu islands which indeed adds up to the amounts shown. 21,000 sets is the clue. Each set
having eight stamp pairs. Add them up and yes, two million stamps, so what?
"This was essentially a repeat of an order".
Nothing of the kind. Earlier orders are for different series and different countries. It is conjecture by the author
to make you think the printer was repeatedly ordering the same stamp issues be reprinted over and over again.
Here the author tries to make you think something terrible is happening! Format is printing Tuvalu stamps!
Look at your catalogs. Format printed Tuvalu stamps all the way up to August of 1988 under contract to do so.
Of course they had a "substantial" quantity of Tuvalu stamps that had just been printed in April. So
why didn't they take them on the spot? Because they couldn't. So they came in a few weeks later and cleared out the archive.
In July, 1989, Mr. Feigenbaum, as Chairman and Managing Director of
PDC was held guilty of contempt of the court in breaching the order made on 3
March, 1989 and was committed to prison for three months and fined £3,000. F.
Hughes, Managing Director of Format and Roger Apsey,
Stock Controller of PDC, were given suspended sentences and fines of £750. They
were ordered to pay costs on an indemnity basis.
Clive Feigenbaum appealed and on the 20th of October,
1989, the Judge of the Court of Appeal "felt the imposition of a prison
sentence a very grave punishment" in view of Mr. Feigenbaum's "good record and character".
The sentence of three months imprisonment was quashed and there was not order for costs.
First either by design or it being a typo error the order breached was not in 198"9". It was 1988.
Indeed Mr. Feigenbaum was held guilty for contempt namely because the director of any company is the one that
is named the guilty party when an employee or employees do something considered in contempt of court orders. Apparently
an issue or issues were reprinted that were not included in the reprint agreement. Upon the appeal Mr. Feigenbaum
had to pay the £3,000 fine but the jail sentence and the order for costs which was £100,000 were quashed.
Again an attempt to get money by Tuvalu....failed.
The Philatelic Exporter, Editor and Publisher Graham R. Phillips, June 1992, Pg. 4-5
As a result of Scotland Yard's
investigation, eight members of the Philatelic trade were arraigned at Bow
Street Magistrate's Court on November 28, 1990. On June 12, 1991 they were
committed on bail to stand trial. That trial began April 27, 1992 at Southward
Six companies involved
The defendants are involved with the following companies:
Format International Security Printers,
founded and run by Peeling and Hughes, until Feigenbaum took it over and employed Wallen in March 1989
agents established by Grover which went into liquidation
Philatelic Distribution Corporation
which succeeded Philatelists Ltd as agents, the principals
of which were Feigenbaum, Lagerwaard,
and Wallen before he was moved to Format
Urch Harris & Co. Ltd. (UH),
by Feigenbaum's family was to have been the
principal retail outlet for the ‘errors’. Also involved were
Lagerwaard, Grover, and Pillinger
London and New York International
Stamp Company Ltd. (LNYI)
also owned by Feigenbaum's family, was another outlet for the bogus stamps
Casco Ltd. (later Caphco Ltd. after privatization),
of which John Smith was managing director,
philatelic agents to Commonwealth countries.
The trial began on April 27 at Southwark Crown Court (London) of eight men charged with
fraud and conspiracy concerning "the alleged production of certain issues of
Commonwealth countries" postage stamps during the mid to late 1890s. Had the
fraud been allowed to succeed, the prosecution, led by Mr. Michael
Worsley QC, alleges the millions of pounds would have been
involved. The errors included missing colours,
misplaced watermarks, imports, etc and were to have been gradually sold to the
public as "rarities".
The start of the case was delayed whilst the 18 barristers and their reams of paper were found room in the
crowded court. The trial is expected to last three or four months.
Some misprints here. 1890s? Let's see, how come The House of Questa isn't on the list? They printed for
Philatelists Ltd. and PDC also. Talk about misplaced watermarks, Questa made tons, literally. And what are "imports"?
The Defendants and the Charges
Clive Feigenbaum (51), Mount Park Road, Harrow-on-Hill, Middlesex: one charge of fraudulent
trading, three of conspiring to use a false instrument, and three of
conspiracy to defraud.
Ronald Grover (56), Lodge Road,
Beulieu, Hampshire: one charge of aiding and abetting
fraudulent trading, one of conspiring to use a false instrument, and one
of conspiring to defraud.
Frederick Hughes (69), Downs Road,
Thornton Heath, Surrey: one charge of fraudulent trading, two of
conspiring to use a false instrument, and two of conspiring to defraud.
Aart Lagerwaard (44), Cranberry Close, Marchwood, Southampton:
one charge of aiding and abetting fraudulent trading, two of conspiring to
use false instrument, and two of conspiring to defraud.
William Peeling (69), Northdown Road, Woldingham,
Surrey: one charge of fraudulent trading.
Brian Pillinger (51), Over Lane, Over Almondsbury, Bristol.
John Smith (38), Canford Gardens, New Malden, Surrey.
Ronald Walden (44), Allington Lane, West End, Southampton.
Each of the last thee named face
one charge of aiding and abetting fraudulent trading, one of conspiring to use
a false instrument, and one of conspiring to defraud.
The offences are alleged to have
taken place on dates between October 1 1985 and July 29 1989.
Peeling has admitted his one
charge and will be sentenced at the end of the trial.
The others have pleaded not
guilty to all charges.
Outlining the prosecution's case
against the defendants, Mr. Worsley told the jury
that it concerned the deliberate production of postage stamps with errors which
were then sold to collectors who believed they were rare examples which had
occurred by accident.
He said that the defendants were
some of the principal people concerned, and that a number of other people were
involved, some guiltily and some innocently, but so many that a courtroom would
not be big enough to hold them. The Crown had limited the number they charged
and endeavored to put in the dock those principally involved at the top of the
"Bogus stamps were printed
wholesale" Mr. Worsley said, "It was an Alice in
Wonderland situation that checkers in a security printers who were supposed to
be checking stamps were being employed and paid to make sure the errors
occurred. It is a Cloud Cuckooland situation".
The stamps, referred to as
"funnies" and "Mickey Mouse stamps", included Andrew and Sarah's wedding and
the Queen's 60th birthday. Others included a St. Vincent tennis
stamp with a missing ball; the actual printing plate of which had been found at
Mr. Worsley said it was quite inconceivable that the colonial governments had ordered such
errors, as had been claimed by the defendants. The bogus stamps had been
ordered by the agencies, he stated.
Here the prosecutor obviously makes things look as bad as possible as all do. The author also is in the same state
as he will write and show all of the negative aspects to sensationalize the article. Indeed the colonial governments did
not order the stamps at all but were given quantities through the philatelic agencies. The agencies are all guilty of
ordering varieties of stamps and using them to promote their agendas which was and is to this day for profits.
The first of a series of police raids took place in April 1989 when Format's premises at Camberwell were searched
and a stack of about 44,000 St. Lucia stamps with misperfs and missing colours was
discovered, which Hughes said were awaiting destruction. But another employee
told police they were being sent to PDC. Hughes was arrested later that day and
on being interviewed he told police he was merely following the system adopted
by Peeling, whom he had replaced at Format.
Here is the use of hearsay. He said she said. Much of the error material that was produced was indeed destroyed.
Print orders show that errors were requested but to this day that issue has no errors on the market. Many times "errors"
were produced for a set but only one value was used and the other values destroyed. Evidence is now proving many
printers have and are doing the same thing to this day.
On May 9 1989 it is alleged that
a special meeting chaired by Feigenbaum, described by
the prosecution as the "prime mover" in the fraud, took place at
c Urch Harris. After this meeting important documents were
shredded and following a police raid on a south London warehouse 91 boxes of
stamps were also shredded.
On May 10, police visited Caphco in Sutton and arrested John Smith. On being shown a
quantity of Pitcairn Is stamps with inverted watermarks he is claimed to have
accepted that they were deliberately produced to promote the interests of the
islands but were sold at face value, mainly to Urch Harris, to boost the shrinking collector market.
Indeed and they more than likely were. This would be the 1988 fish 2nd issue. It is kind of funny because you can
look in Stanley gibbons Western Pacific Specialized catalog and see that both the stamps in that issue are listed
with inverted watermarks. Now why would Stanley gibbons list them when Mr. Smith admitted they were purposely
made? Oh, that's right.....it was ordered by the Crown agents so therefore they must be ok whereas, if the PDC had ordered
them, then they surely would not get listed right?
In February 1990 property was seized by police from Urch Harris and Philatelic
Distribution Corporation, and a large quantity of stamps was found at LNY's warehouse in Stratford, east London.
c Feigenbaum was arrested at his home, where bogus stamps
were found in his study. He said LNY was owned by his family, UH was a
subsidiary with no other shareholders, and he was the managing director of PDC.
Proof is now readily available that the House of Questa and other printers were doing the same thing on a massive scale.
Check out my page on the 1981 Royal Wedding issues. They just never got "exposed" in a trial. The stamps that are on the market
today are all the evidence you need to know this as fact. Stanley Gibbons was heavily involved wih Urch Harris, the PDC, The
House of Questa and the Crown Agents. But we don't want to bring all that up.....right?
Let's see, large quantities of stamps seized. Yup. Bogus stamps in a stamp dealers study. Hmmm, maybe we
should raid just about every stamp dealers study in the world! I think I have some bogus stamps lying around too!
That's right, about 1-2,000 forgeries of LOTW issues printed recently (2014-2015).
"Right at the center of the group
of related people and companies was Mr. Feigenbaum in
a position of control. Wherever you look you find him - something more than a
coincidence" Mr. Worsley told the court.
Of course he was. He owned some of the companies and financed them. Stamp production does not involve just one company you know.
On May 3 1990 Wallen was arrested and said he was the stamp production manager at PDC firstly under
Lagerwaard and then Feigenbaum.
He transferred to Format in March 1989. The same day Grover and
Lagerwaard were arrested. The latter said he worked in
various capacities at UH and philatelists, and became a director of UH in 1987.
He also said "specials" were created to boost sales.
As they are to this day.
"Errors to order"
The first prosecution witness to
be called was William Peeling, who had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of
70 year old Peeling described himself
as a craftsman, having worked in stamp production since he was 14. He had set
up Format in 1969 with three others, all directors and equal shareholders,
including Hughes one of the defendants. In April 1988, he told the Court, he
was summoned to the director's office by Hughes who told him his services were
no longer needed and that Hughes was replacing him as managing director. He
added angrily that he left the company instantly and that he was forced to sell
his shareholding in Format and another company he had helped to found,
Caldew Colour Plates, to Feigenbaum.
This shows us a witness with prior animosity to the defendents was used. We already know
that this witness was in charge when the financial problems Format was having was happening. It is
under his watch that the failure of Format to survive occured. His anomosity toward Feigenbaum
is completely understandable and this is what some refer to as the "bitter takeover by Feigenbaum".
His testimony is therefore biased and indeed should not have even been considered as evidence....
which in the end....was not. On a footnote the three Peeling was referencing was none other than the
founders of Questa. Hughes was his partner with Caldew.
"We did nothing unless it was
ordered" he said referring to the flawed stamps, which were passed to
Philatelists and then PDC. He recalled working with Grover at Philatelists
producing stamps for islands with "so many weird names". His first meeting with Feigenbaum
was in March 1987 when the latter became owner of PDC.
Afraid he knew Feigenbaum long before then. Shipments to Urch Harris ect.
On his second day in the witness
box Peeling told the Court of the "burden" that the deliberately produced
errors had become to his two companies. Format and Caldew,
saying "I felt it was wrong, it was obviously wrong, I kept those feeling to
myself." Whenever printing contracts were placed by Philatelists and PDC
deliberate variations were always ordered, but on the rare occasions when
Format dealt directly with a postal administration no such mistakes were asked
Obviously the money was good. This went on for years before PDC. Contracts
allowed the agents to request varieties "at their discretion to promote sales".
In 1985 Format got into financial
problems because of the collapse of Philatelists. A promised £100,000
from Feigenbaum to relieve the pressure never materialized,
and by the time Peeling left the company in 1987 its finances were in a poor
state, although it was waiting for a £900,000 payment from an unconnected
According to financial records there was nobody owing Format anything near £900,000 ever.
Peeling was "bought out" by Feigenbaum. The date here is again wrong. Philatelists collapsed in 1987 not 1985.
All in the archived financial documents at Companies House in the UK. You can get a copy on DVD for 20 pounds.
Cross examined by counsel for Lagerwaard, Peeling said that as the main person who dealt
with Format's clients, he had the impression that both Feigenbaum and Grover were "dynamic and convincing".
In 1983 when Format's
relationship with Philatelists first began Peeling was shown a contract which
gave him the impression that Grover had a license to print varieties.
Of course he did. Agents have been ordering varieties for years! Nothing new.
Early in 1987 Peeling said he saw
a contract between Feigenbaum and Grover to "satisfy
he had purchased the rights from Mr. Grover to reprint. It contained exclusion
clauses from overseas countries saying there should never be a reprint."
"It did disturb me that my
reaction was not to refuse. I must have had a blank at the time." He added.
As we closed for press (May 11),
Peeling completed his fifth day in the witness box. The case continues.
He was talking about the Reprint Agreement. The exclusions were for "limited edition" color proof presentation folders
and various limited edition souvenir sheets. Again...the reprint agreement closed this case.
From The Philatelic Exporter, Editor and Publisher Graham R. Phillips,
July 1992, Pg. 3
"Deliberate Errors" trial
Southwark Crown Court has been hearing further prosecution evidence in the "deliberate
errors" stamp fraud trial which began on April 27. In last month's Exporter William Peeling's evidence was reported.
Det. Con. Ronald Faulds, Scotland Fraud Squad, told of
interviews with Frederick Hughes, in which Hughes had described how Format's
financial situation had deteriorated following the collapse of Philatelists
Ltd., the takeover by Feigenbaum, and the loss of
some business because of previous Fraud Squad investigations. Hughes said he
was reduced to "Jack if everything" and that Format was continually kept short
of money by Feigenbaum. Eventually, in mid-1989,
Format was forced into liquidation with debts of £270,000. Because of the
inter-relationship between several of the companies involved,
Feigenbaum, owner of Format, was also the main creditor of
"No one supported Feigenbaum"
Evidence given in an interview by Aart Lagewaard was read to
the Court, which hears of "violent and heated arguments", and punches and tea
being thrown by Lagerwaard at Feigenbaum when the former, at the time managing director of Philatelic Distribution, had
discovered that errors were being deliberately printed and distributed through
PDC and another Feigenbaum company, Urch Harris.
Aart Lagerwaard (Real name is John) was a sworn enemy of Feigenbaum's. The letters he sent to the Tuvalu agency show that he was
trying to start his own agency and "take over" production of stamps for Tuvalu. Notes written on the documents
show that the officials considered him odd and refused his "self invitation" to visit them to explain
himself and his plans.
Lagerwaard had warned the Tuvalu postal administration that deliberate errors and
varieties were being produced contrary to the terms of their contract. He had
threatened to go to the police and had consulted solicitors because he was
"alarmed at what was going on". He further stated that no one at PDC supported
Feigenbaum but as they had to pay their mortgages, apathy
forced them to accept "misleading the public".
These were wild and misleading statements made by him. The contract allowed for varieties and anything else the
PDC deemed plausible to promote the stamps of Tuvalu. Feigenbaum fired him. In his letter to Tuvalu he states
he resigned. His words were all hearsay. Not one to believe that "nobody at the PDC supported Feigenbaum".
Lagerwaard had joined PDC as managing director in February 1987, having been with
Philatelists Ltd. since January 1984. When Philatelists crashed PDC was formed
by Feigenbaum to take over its stamp agency
contracts. Lagerwaard said he had wanted to stay on
to gather information. Eventually in January 1988, he left PDC because "he was
not to be trusted".
Indeed he was not a trustworthy person. Considering he is the one who wrote and designed the Leaders of the World
Cricket Players proposal which was basically under the same design as the Leaders of the World Trains and Cars proposals.
Considering his underhanded attempts at stealing the contract with the Tuvalu Bureau.
Even though PDC was a successful
operation it was constantly short of funds because "Feigenbaum was always in need of ready cash...money was siphoned off". Sometimes,
Lagerwaard stated, he had to pay bills out of his own
pocket because PDC cheques kept bouncing.
Here again the author seems to try to twist the truth. After throwing tea and punches and showing you "cannot be trusted"
do you think for a minute the "big boss" isn't going to fire you?
During his time at Philatelists,
under Ronald Grover, progressive proofs of St. Vincent Locomotives were sold to
the public at highly inflated prices because "only 250 were printed".
Where in fact 3000 had been sold.
Here we have a complete fabrication of facts and a lie. It is a simple fact that 3,000 progressive color proof sets were
ordered and produced by the printer in full panes for just about every issue the Format Printers made at that time.
From those panes 250 Presentation Books of each value from certain sets were made.
They were numbered and certified that only 250 of them would be sold in that form. Here is where the lie comes in.
Ronald Wallen, arrested at the same time as Lagerwaard in May 1990,
said in an interview with the police that inverts of the Queen's 60th birthday had been produced. He told officers that
Feigenbaum was a brow-beating chairman who had announced that "it's about time we had a
The rest of the St. Vincent Locomotives panes were confiscated by the British Metropolitan Police for use in this trial as evidence. The panes
were then "held" in the British Metropolitan Police warehouse until 2008 when they were released back to the owner.
They were then sold to an eBay seller who sold them all over a 6-8 month period in 2012 in random lots of 25-100 panes. Where do you think
I got the images for the color proofs in the specialized section for the Saint Vincent LOTW Trains? I was one of the buyers!
So you tell me....how were they "sold" before Lagerwaard's testimony??
When we closed for press the prosecution continued to present its case. The trial is expected to last for
several more weeks.
Here the author twists the statements. Inverts are not varieties. Taking two separate statements and combining
them to look like Feigenbaum was talking about the inverts. Fabricated by the author to enhance the article.
I note that until 2014 no "inverts" of the 60th birthday issues have "ever" been sold. In that year, they appeared on the
market in force. The only thing is....they are forgeries. Never made by the Format Printers. They are completely different
in color, paper and gum and are made using a coarse screening making the images of the Queen "blurry" along with the rest
of the "stamp". check out my "Modern Fake Stamps" section to see them.
From The Philatelic Exporter, Editor and Publisher Graham R. Phillips,
August 1991, Pg. 3
The eight men charged with various offences relating to deliberately produced stamp errors and varieties have been
cleared of all charges.
EIGHT CLEARED OF "DELIBERATE
It is interesting here that the following section does not explain why Tuvalu and the prosecution
after the months of raids, tons of evidence and reams of documents lost the case in a four hour deliberation by the jurors.
The trial at Southwark Crown Court, London, which has begun on April 27, ended on July 16 when Clive
Feigenbaum was acquitted of one charge of fraudulent trading.
Really it is quite simple.
The contracts allowed them to reprint the stamps and the contracts allowed them to produce varieties of those stamps.
There was no evidence of them claiming the "errors" nor the varieties were "accidently" produced.
It is obvious that if Tuvalu had won the case they could have sued and obtained all the stamps to resell and produce
more profits for themselves until they could retain another venue of stamp income. Luckily for them they had signed
into a trust fund program with Australia and others. Possibly forseeing the failure since they signed in August of 1987.
On June 30, six other defendants - Ronald Grover, Frederick Hughes, Aart
Lagerwaard, Brian Pillinger, John
Smith, and Ronald Wallen had been found not guilty on
the direction of Judge Eugene Cotran. All but one of
the charges against Clive Feigenbaum
were dropped when no evidence was offered by the
prosecution. The eighth defendant, William Peeling, had earlier pleaded guilty
but was allowed to reverse his plea and was then also discharged after no
evidence was offered against him.
The Judge told the six acquitted
men that "You should not feel in any way that this prosecution has blotted any
of your characters". Addressing John Smith personally, Judge
Cotran said that he hoped most sincerely that he would be
reinstated in his position as head of the Crown Agents Stamp Bureau. All were
Most people don't even catch this. "All were awarded costs". That means that all the defendants court costs were
awarded back to them. I would think that was a substancial amount!
The acquittals left just Clive Feigenbaum to answer the one remaining charge of fraudulent
trading in stamps with deliberate imperfections between April 1988 and July
He told the Court that he saw
nothing wrong in what he had been doing, and still does not. He explained that
the major points concerning stamp varieties were the price and description. He
agreed with the Judge that, of course, rarity was also an important factor. A
famous stamp with an aeroplane printed upside down on
it would have been worth exactly the same whether the mistake had been
deliberate or not, he claimed. He said he never really considered whether an
error was deliberate, "either way, it frankly does not matter. It would make
exactly the same price".
When advertising the errors and
varieties he said he had always attempted to be prudent and reasonable in the
descriptions. Some errors and varieties had been advertised without his
knowledge as genuinely rare errors.
And those dealers are the ones they should have gone after. They are still making false claims today!
He said he was being accused of fraud for selling stamp varieties but varieties had existed since the very
first Penny Black.
He claimed that contracts giving
him authority to produce stamps for certain Commonwealth territories also
allowed him to produce varieties and reprints to meet collector demand. During
the trial Judge Cotran had made it clear to the jury
that the production of errors and varieties was not in itself illegal. The
offence occurred when they were sold as if produced accidentally.
Clive Feigenbaum suggested that the prosecution had confused his "open contracts" with colonial
governments, which allowed reprints and varieties, with those that the Crown
Agents negotiated with their principals, which did not. He maintained that "revolutions"
in the stamp trade had allowed these "open contracts".
Indeed profits were good for varieties as they are to this day. There are many countries today running
their programs on "open contracts". Just look at what is being produced in the way of varieties by them.
The "not guilty" verdict came
after four hours deliberation by the jury members, who were gratefully and
enthusiastically thanked by Mr. Feigenbaum, who
himself had been thanked by Judge Cotran for his
"Patience with us but the verdict of the jury has vindicated your stand."
And there you have it. What these people did is what has been going on long before they were involved and
it continues to this day. Now we have the U.S. post producing 2014 right side up Jenny Airplane "errors" selling
for thousands of dollars. Many countries producing imperforates, Specimens, color proofs and just about everthing
else under the sun. All being produced for collectors to buy. What Clive stated above is exactly what has been
going on. Therefore it is only because of this trial and this compiled article which is obviously written
in a biased sense that stamps, varieties and errors produced by this printing company have been shunned by collectors
and dealers all these years. In comparison to what has been produced and sold by many printers and agencies past and
present, what was produced by Format pales in comparison.
The bottom line to this article is that if any number of other printing companies or agencies were to be placed on trial
like this, they too would be exposed for doing the exact same thing! Therefore whole sections of stamps in the
major catalogs would then have to be shunned as well. Especially stamps produced from the 1970's to now!
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