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UK man jailed over forged Churchill signatures

The Associated Press, Friday, December 21, 2012, 8:08am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — A British antiques dealer has been jailed for 10 months for forging the signatures of Winston Churchill and other famous figures in books he sold as collector items.

Prosecutors say Allan Formhals bought books at recycling centers and junk sales and made thousands of pounds selling them on eBay after adding the bogus autographs.

Judge Peter Henry said police who searched the 66-year-old's home in Milford-on-Sea in southern England found "an Aladdin's Cave" of forged signatures from Oliver Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette and others.

Formhals was convicted in October of 10 counts of fraud and sentenced Friday.

Ian Lawson of the Metropolitan Police economic crimes unit said police had recovered more than 100 forged volumes, but many more are believed still to be on the market.

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