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Great Britain - Stock Exchange Forgery


What many well the closest thing to a perfect crime was perpetrated in Great Britain's Stock Exchange Telegraph Office in 1872-1873, and wasn't discovered for 26 years!!!.  The crime involves a Clever Forgery of the then-current One Shilling green, Scott #54, which like many stamps was valid for either Postage or Revenue use.  These Stamps where heavily used on Telegraph forms.

In 1898, when workmen at a Hamper Mill, England, storage bin discovered old documents classed as security waste.  The workmen, noticing the Stamps on the documents, stole as many as they could at the time.  The Stamps taken by the workmen eventually ended up in the Stock of British Stamp Dealer Stanley Gibbons.  A Collector named Charles Nissen discovered one in Gibbons' stock and was able to locate nearly 100 of the fakes.

An Official investigation into the matter led authorities to recover nine tons of Security waste paper from the Hamper Mill site. A survey of these forms processed only on June 24, 1872 revealed724 counterfeits, since the fakes were in use for more than a year, The British Post Office no doubt lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in Revenue during the life of the scam.

Since the Revenue Stamps were applied by an Internal Clerk, it was reasoned that an employee of the Office was substituting the fake Stamps for real ones during 1872-73.  He was then redeeming the real Stamps for cash at the Post Office.  Since Telegraph forms were stored and destroyed without examination, the chance of detection was slim.  No leads or suspects ever turned up.

Today, the One-Shilling Stock Exchange Forgery is highly valued by Collectors and worth many multiples of the modest value for a use genuine Stamp.  There may well be examples of this rarity lying undetected in Collections.
Resource: (My archives, Youngblood & Rockwell, 1994).

rtvstamps · 333 days ago
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  •  alynstampcollector: 

    Good job again Rodolfo!

     333 days ago 
    0 mystampworld points
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Great Britain - Stock Exchange Forgery