24th November 1890
Reference Numbert18901124-38
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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38. GEORGE JOHNSON (70) and JOHN PHILLIPS (74) , Forging and uttering a warrant for the payment of £1,000, with intent to defraud.

MR. POLAND, Q. C., and MR. WOODFALL Prosecuted, and MR. BESLEY Defended.

EMILE BENS (Interpreted). I am a cashier to Messrs. De Sauvage and Co., of Liege—on 21st October a man presented this letter of credit—he signed a name on it, and I gave him £200—he had an American pass port, issued at New York—the police came, and he was taken in custody at once—I recognise this photograph (Of Daniel Hope) as his.

GODFRIED DONNAY (Interpreted). I am Assistant Registrar of the Tribunal of First Instance, Liege, and produce from that Court the letter of credit spoken to by the last witness, and also two others—two men, Daniel Hope and Charles Thorn, are awaiting their trial at Liege in connection with these letters of credit—these are their photographs.

JOSEPH TRAGHEIM . I came from the Baltic provinces—I live at 81, Greenfield Street, Commercial Road—I was formerly in business at Rotterdam, in the provision line—I am thirty years old—I was introduced to the prisoner Phillips at Rotterdam at the end of last year, and saw him three or four times—he said he would put it in my way to make-money by some Bank of England notes, which were to be made, and if I came over to London, I was to give him a call at 115, Hampton Road,. Forest Gate—he also mentioned some letters of credit—I came to London about 17th February, and called on Phillips at Hampton Road—he was, ill in bed—some dancing was going on, and I looked and saw the other prisoner there—that was the first time I had seen him—no arrangement was made at that time—I went to Havre in May and saw Phillips there; he spoke about the same thing, and said it would take some time to get them ready, and then he would give me the first chance to make money—I returned to London in August and saw Phillips at the corner of Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate Street—he said, "The letters of credit are going to be put in circulation before anything else is done," and told me he would give me a chance to put them in circulation, and I could select a place abroad where I wished to go to—I saw him from time to time, and occasionally Johnson was with him—at the end of August I communicated with the Governor of the Bank of England, and was referred to the solicitor, Mr. Freshfield, and then to the officer Child, and let him know what I was doing—about the middle of September Phillips gave a piece of gelatine, on which was a drawing of the perforations, and the figures "0" and "1," and a star—I went with him to the City Road, where he pointed out No. 138, Mr. Sergeant's shop—I went in and saw Mr. and Mrs. Sergeant, and showed them the gelatine—Phillips did not go in, he waited in a public-house in the neighbourhood—Mr. Sergeant asked me whether the stamp ought to be all in one or three separate ones—I said that I did not know, and went out and told Phillips I was in doubt about it—he gave me some money, and referred to a letter written by "George"—I did not know Johnson as George till some time after wards—I called about the 25th, and there were then three stamps which would perforate paper—I believe these (produced) are them—I tried them on this piece of paper, which I handed to Child—I went to Liver pool Street the next day by appointment, and saw the prisoners—I gave Phillips the three perforators and the gelatine pattern—they both, examined them minutely, and Child came in—George then put the per forators in his pocket, the paper crumbled up, and I threw it away—a? few days after that Phillips spoke to me about some types, which he wanted me to order; he said he had received a letter from George, and the gelatine should have been enclosed—I met George later in "the day; he said he had not got the gelatine, and I afterwards received it from Phillips—this is it with the tracing "B," and a lot of figures—I took it to Sergeant, and gave him the order—I had told Child what I was going to do—Sergeant executed the order, and it was delivered to me—I paid this bill for them, "11 type to order, 8s. "; it is-made out to Mr. Bolton, that is the name I assumed—I gave the type and the gelatine to Phillips, and a few days afterwards Johnson gave them back to me, and instructed me to take them back and get them filed to make them thin, as they were too thick and too far apart; I took.

them to Mr. Sergeant, got them altered, and fetched them the same evening and delivered them to Phillips or Johnson—Phillips gave me the order to get a little stamping machine altered; I got that done by a cousin of mine, Julius Hersh, and gave it to Phillips—some days after wards Phillips showed me a printed list like this No. 1, with the names of towns in Europe, but there is more printing here than there was on the other—he said that I was to select the place where I would go to with two letters of credit—we had a conversation about Russia and about Copenhagen—I showed it to Child—if I went by myself I was to get 50 cent, of the money I got, but if I went with anybody else I was only to receive one-third—on 14th or 15th October Phillips said that I was not to go alone; they preferred that I should go with a man named Dick who I had seen in the (prisoners' company—about October 16th I saw Phillips outside the Rail way Station, Forest Gate—he showed me a letter of credit, and said, "You can safely put it down, it is the opinion of an expert that it was one of the best that ever was made—I took it in my hand—it was like this, with the exception of the date and name, which are written in, and the signature—it had a list of correspondents attached to it—it was not delivered to me, only shown to me—it was arranged that I was to go the following evening, the 17th, with Dick to Brussels, the place I selected—I did not have the letter of credit before I started; Dick was to get the letters from somebody, I heard Phillips speaking about it—I went to Brussels with them, and on the Sunday I saw two other men there who I had seen with the prisoners, but I did not know their names; I recognise them in these photographs, but one is not a very good likeness; the one in the felt hat I have only seen once, but the other I have seen several times in both the prisoners' presence—those two men left Brussels—while I was there I found out from an English banking house the correspondents there of Drexel and Morgan at the Banque do Paris, and told them what I came over for—I knew from what the prisoners said that the two men had gone to Liege, and gave that information, but I did not telegraph there—I afterwards heard of the arrest of the two men at Liege, and wired to Child—the Banque de Paris gave me some money, and I returned to London and communicated with Child—I afterwards attended at the Mansion House; I was cautioned by the Alderman, and then gave evidence against the prisoners, and signed my statement—I was not cross-examined; there was an adjournment, after which I went to the Continent again—after the committal Child came over, and asked me to come across, and I returned on Monday evening—I only got from the prisoners what I had to pay for the things which I ordered and bought—Mr. Child gave me some money.

Cross-examined. The first communication I made was to the Bank of England; that was at the end of August, 1890—I did not keep a shop at Rotterdam; I was a provision merchant, having a warehouse there, in part of 1889 and part of 1890—I was in business at Manchester before that; I left there early in 1889; I was a merchant there—I began my career as a merchant when I came home from America—I was about twenty-two when I went to America—I came here from the Baltic provinces when I was about fourteen years old—I do not know that there are warrants out to take me in custody—I have never been accused of

fraudulent bankruptcy or cheating my creditors that I know of; I owed some money at Rotterdam—I was working for my brother in America—I did not know the name of Drexel, Morgan, and Co. when I was in New York—no accusation has ever been made against me except by a man I had in business with me in Manchester; he said that I embezzled money—I was acquitted on that charge—I was not his servant; he was supposed to be a partner—I was not tried; I was in custody—the sum was about £12—the man absconded to America—I was working in Manchester up to the time I went to Rotterdam—I met Phillips in Rotterdam in October or November last year—I was several times in his company before he proposed to me to circulate forged bank-notes—we were only once in a place of amusement—he came about four times to Rotterdam, but I saw him several times on each occasion—to the best of my belief it was before Christmas that he spoke to me about my circulating forged notes; I did not write to the Bank of England, because I thought I would see if it was all correct—I did not suggest that I often came to London—I did not ask for his address—I had a warehouse at Rotter dam eleven months; not a shop—it was in Berehaven Street—I lost some money in business, and lost some by another man, and I came over here in the middle of February—I had not much left—I then went to Manchester; but I went to Forest Gate first—before I was examined I was taken to Messrs. Freshfields with Mr. Child, and made my statement, and Home one took it down—I do not remember it being read over to me, or my signing it—there was no statement to anyone else, except at the Mansion House—I had a little money of my own to live upon from the end of August to October—I went' to Havre in March, and went into business—the Rotterdam business was given up—I had some money lent me—I was there till August, when I came over here—I went by no other name but Bolton till August, when I came over here—I have not gone by the name of Callaghan or Barford—I wrote to Phillips to come to Havre, and asked him how this affair was going on—I was ill at the time—I had then known for months that I was to circulate Bank of England notes—it was a job I did not like to do—when I had been examined before the Alderman I did not know I should be required again till the trial came on, and I am here—I went back to Havre, leaving my address in Manchester with Child—they did not know I was going to Havre—I was not exactly disgusted by the small amount of money I had been able to extract from them, but I was threatened by the presiding magistrate as if I was a criminal, and I thought it was no use my being bothered in the matter, I would go back and pursue my own business in the meantime—I did not resist coming here—I did not say anything about having had too little money, but I. do not think I was fairly treated, not about money, but I did not think it was fair to waste my time—I did not want to give any more evidence—I did not ask for any money—I was not promised any—I got none—I expected money for my time and the work I had done—I did not say to Mrs. Phillips, "I have been obliged to turn Queen's evidence, because the police watched me," nor that unless she gave me money I would come to the Mansion House again—I did not get a farthing from her or from any friend of hers, nor have I trafficked with her friends to get money from her—Mr. Idelsatch lent me £9; I owe him a lot of money, which he lent me to carry on my business, both before and after I gave

my evidence—he belongs to the same place as I do—I knew him before I knew Phillips—I said nothing before the Alderman about 50 per cent., or one-third, because the question was not asked me—I saw Johnson in Phillips' company lots of times—I have not said before to-day that Johnson put the perforators which I gave to Phillips in his pocket;. I was not asked the question—I have not said before to-day that I had to-go and consult Phillips; I was not asked—I do not think I have said before to-day that money was given me to pay a deposit—I never had one of the forged letters of credit.

Re-examined. The Magistrate at Manchester dismissed the charge of embezzlement—that is the only time I have been charged with a criminal offence—I traded at Rotterdam as Benford and Co.—this letter of August 31st (produced) is my writing; that enables me to fix the date of my communication with the Bank of England—it was a few days before-June 31st that I wrote to the solicitors—after I came back on Monday night further questions were put to me, and I answered them.

FREDERICK SERGEANT. I am a wood and brass letter manufacturer, of 138, City Road, and have been there five or six years—some time in September Tragheim brought me a piece of gelatine with a tracing on it of "1" "0 "and a star, and gave me an order to make this as perforators through paper—he said he was getting them for a friend in the country—I asked him whether it was to be one stamp or three, as it was not traced through on the gelatine, he said he would write and let ma know the following day or the day after—he left 4s. deposit, and left and returned in ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and said that referring to his friend's letter I was quite right, and they were wanted in three stamps—I made them, and he called again in a few days and paid the balance, sixpence, and took away the stamps, the gelatine, and a piece of paper with the perforations on it like this (produced), to show that they were perfect—this is the punch which I made the star with—Tragheim came again the next week and brought this piece of gelatine, with the letter B on it and some figures—that is called type—he gave me an order to make those letters and figures—I did so, and he called at 6 p. m. and fetched them away, and I gave him the gelatine—he paid 8s., and I called my wife to make the bill—this is it: "Bolton, October 1, 1890. 11 type-to order, M. Sergeant, 8s"—shortly afterwards he brought back ten out of the eleven, and said they did not fit close enough together, and wanted to be filed thinner—I did so, and gave them back to him—this star, this "1," and this "0," repeated three times on these letters of credit (produced) were made from the stamps I made, and I have no doubt that this "B 8,692," "B 8,693," and" B 8, 694. were made from the type I made for Tragheim—I have been in the trade all my life—these things were in the ordinary course of business, and I had no idea of there being anything wrong—they would have to be set up in a little frame to print from them.

Cross-examined. The police did not communicate with me till last Tuesday week—this was steel type, not lead; here is a specimen of it (produced)—I first saw Tragheim about 19th September—he came five-times—I never saw any letter of credit—this is a five-pointed star, and they generally have seven—I have brought the pieces I cut out with the stamp—I tested the perforators, and there was no defect in them; and as

to the figures, the close resemblance in size leads me to believe they were done with my perforator.

Re-examined. They correspond in every particular, and I have no doubt they are made from my stamp—this is the punch for the star; I had to make it—it is called a counter.

MARTHA SERGEANT. I am the wife of the last witness—one day in September I saw Tragheim with an elderly gentleman, who did not come into the shop—Tragheim spoke to me, and I called my husband—I went out ten minutes afterwards, leaving Tragheim with my husband, and as I came home again I saw Tragheim with the same elderly gentleman again—when he came again in October I made out this bill—he gave the name of Bolton, which I have got here.

Cross-examined. I may have seen him three, four, or five times—I was outside the first time he came, and followed him into the shop, and went behind the counter and asked him his business, and then called my husband, and went out again—I was absent about ten minutes, and two or three minutes after I came back Tragheim came back—I had not taken off my outdoor garments—that was about September 19th—I do not think it was earlier.

He-examined. When I saw Tragheim and the elderly gentleman in the street they were reading a letter.

ROBERT CHILD (City Detective). On September 12th Tragheim gave me certain information—there was a break in our communications at first, but after 26th September I saw him almost daily—on 16th September I saw him with the two prisoners in Liverpool Street—I knew he was going to meet Phillips, and I knew Johnson by sight—on 26th September Tragheim showed me some perforators for "1" and "0," and a, star, and a piece of gelatine—the perforators would make such marks as are on this paper—the marks on the gelatine are similar; they are the tracings—I went to the White Hart public-house, at the corner of Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate Street, about twenty minutes after they were in my hands, and saw Tragheim and the two prisoners—Johnson had the three perforators, and the little piece of brown paper in which they were wrapped, and was examining them very minutely, and Phillips and Tragheim were standing close to him—I am sure the prisoners did not see me—Tragheim brought me this piece of gelatine in October with the type, and took my instructions; the type corresponded with the figures traced on the, gelatine; he showed me some. correspondence at the same time—on October 17th Tragheim went to Brussels on his own account, not as my agent—I knew that he was going, and who he was going with—I received a telegram from him on October 21st, and the next day I took three detectives with me, and after waiting some hours arrested Johnson after he left his house, and told him the charge—he said, "I know nothing about it"—going to the station he said, "When do you say the forgeries took place?"—I said, "I should say last week"—he said, "Will you tell me the charge again?"—I repeated it, and he said again, "I know nothing about it"—I searched his house, 2, Vernon Villas, Twickenham, and produce a list of what I found there.

Cross-examined. An appointment was made by somebody else for Tragheim to meet me at Messrs. Freshfield's office—I saw him meet the prisoners on the 16th; they merely spoke together in Liverpool

Street, not in the public-house—I have taken a note of other persons whom he met—he did not meet other persons when the prisoners were not present previous to the 16th—he produced the three perforations about 10.30 a. m. in a public-house in Milk Street—I took very great pains to obscure myself when I was watching Tragheim—between October 1st and 17th I saw Tragheim daily, except on Sundays—I saw three or four other persons of the gang who he spoke to; he was then sleeping at 81, Greenfield Street—I did not watch him at all, he made appointments and we kept them—other officers were watching; I sometimes kept away three or four days, but I used to meet Tragheim every day—when he went abroad I did not telegraph to the Brussels police to keep their eyes on him.

JOHN HARMAN . I am a lithographic printer, of 12, Bacon Street,. Brick Lane; I have been in business there twelve years—about twelve months ago a man whose name I do not know had per mission to use my place for printing—he brought his own type—he came again in September this year, and again had permission to use my place of business—he had his own type, and set it up—I had not a printing-press large enough for him, and on 22nd December I got one from Mr. Fouracre; the price was £6 10s.; he gave me £5 10s.; and I was owing—he brought the type set up all ready—it was something similar to this—I did not take it up and read it—he was between thirty-five and forty years old—the two prisoners used to come to my place separately, and buy Bank of Engraving notes—I did not know their names—Johnson came four or five times; he was there about two hours when the man was printing these things; he asked me to go out and have a glass of ale; I said, "No," but I went out and got some bread and cheese, and the other man was there printing—there are two rooms there with a partition between—I came back and found them in the same position—I have never seen Johnson since—that was towards the end of September—September 29th was the last day I made a payment on the bill, and I do not recollect seeing Johnson afterwards—the man left the type at my place, and told me I might make use of it—the police afterwards communicated with me; I gave the type to Wright and Barton when they came.

Cross-examined. He set up the type on my premises the first time—it was brought in parcels as it came from the foundry—it was new type; the "a's" were in line and the "b's" were in line, and he put them into ordinary composing cases—he took away what he had set up, and when I saw it next it was in an iron frame properly blocked up with wood—the cases had some remnants of type in them; I gave them up to the police; they never left my place—actual printing was done at my place after the press was bought—I have a portion of the press still, and the other portion is here—when I have paid the remaining £1 I shall be the owner of the press—these Bank of Engraving notes are used as Christmas presents and by betting men, and a lot of tradesmen use them—I never saw either of the prisoners speak to the man—I do not know either of them except in the way of Bank of Engraving notes.

By the COURT. Johnson was there once for two hours, but did not speak to the man, he was talking tome; I cannot say whether he spoke to the man during the twenty minutes I was away, but they were in different rooms.

HENRY COX (City Policeman). On 24th September, in consequence of instructions from Child, I watched in Liverpool Street, and saw the prisoners together—I followed Johnson and another man to Bethnal Green, and lost sight of him in Gibraltar Gardens—I saw him again next day in Liverpool Street with someone else, followed them to Bacon Street, Spitalfields, and lost sight of him—on the 29th I saw Johnson again, and followed him to Mr. Harman's, 12, Bacon Street—I did not wait to see him come out—on September 30th I was watching in Bacon Street, and saw Johnson come there about 1.20; he went into No. 12, and came out about 4.20—I followed him to Shoreditch Station and lost sight of him—while he was there on the 30th I saw Mr. Harman come out to get some food, he was out twenty' minutes or half an hour—I have seen Johnson, Phillips, and Tragheim in company on other occasions in September and October.

ARTHUR BARTON (City Detective). On October 28th I was with Wright at Messrs. Brown and Co., printers, and brought over some type which Wright had received from Harman—Mr. Morgan, a printer, was there—I waited there while they set up some type, and this is an impression (produced).

WILLIAM WRIGHT (City Policeman), On 22nd October John Harman handed me two cases and some small parcels of type at 12, Bacon Street, which I took to Brown and Co., of St. Mary Axe, and handed it to Mr. Morgan.

Cross-examined. The parcels of type were not set up to stand on their feet, they were all loose, and there were a lot in paper wrapped up by themselves.

RICHARD ROBERT MORGAN . I am a printer, in the employ of Brown of Co., of St. Mary Axe—I received some type from Wright and Barton-1 set it up and printed this from it—(The list of the continental correspondents)—it is old style nonpareil—the correspondents lists are not exactly alike, there are some dark letters which I nave done since.

Cross-examined. You can get nonpareil at most type-founders-r-what I have done since is not in Egyptian—these initials were taken from the parcels—there were more left after I had taken them out—I got it out of the same parcel; they were tied up in the usual way when the parcel was brought; they stood on their feet, but they had a lot of ink on them; they had been used and not cleaned—one parcel was in "pie"—I set up about two pages—I had not enough type for them, and I had to make a first printing, and distribute the type, and set it up again—there was not enough to do two pages—both sets of dark letters came from the parcels—I have compared the forged documents with what I printed, and if I had got the initials right it would have been the same—if the letters had been put in it would have corresponded; I did not use them—the first page of this is lithograph—when I set up this page I had not a copy of the alleged forgeries—this (produced) is what I set from—there is a great difference in the" Payment will be made "and what I set up—I had not any type to imitate the genuine list of correspondents nearer than that I used, which I got from these parcels.

Re-examined. I made the list of correspondents from the list given me—I had not got the forged one—the typo would print the whole of this at twice, breaking up the first page.

WALTER THOMAS CHRISTIAN . I have been twenty-three years manager

of the credit department of J. IS. Morgan and Co., 22, Old Broad Street, the London correspondents and agents of Drexel, Morgan, and Co., New-York, and when they issue letters of credit I am advised of them—this is one of the genuine letters of that firm—when complete, the list of correspondents is attached to it, so that the holder can see where he can get the money—the first forged one is dated 18th September, 1890—for the year 1890 the proper initial letter is "C "instead of "B"—they do not change the letter every year, but last year "B "was the initial letter—these three letters of credit are forged; the colour of the "B "is red instead of violet, and I see a slight difference in the perforation of the "0"; the signature is slightly different, and so is the paper; I have weighed it—the paper of the original would be issued in New York—I have no advices relating to these three; two of them in the name of David Hope, and one in the name of Charles Thorn—the serial number is the same as last year.

Cross-examined. "A "was commenced about twelve years ago—I can't say how many years it continued—notice came from America when "A "ceased to be the initial letter—I did not inform all the correspondents of that—none of our agents knew that the initial, letter was changed, only the clerks knew it—"B "ran for about six years—we advised them to alter the initial, and they did so—under no circumstances was "B "used in 1890—these letters of credit are delivered out in New York—every person passing through does not show the letter of credit to me in London; they would go to the Continent with them and the Colonies—if I looked at the signature only in the first letter of credit I should not like to swear they were false without careful examination—I cannot describe the difference in the star—in the genuine credits the "O's "are always in a straight line—this is not exactly like the "O "in the original, it appears thinner at the top, where it is divided—the genuine letters of credit are printed in New York—no letter of credit would be paid if the list of correspondents became detached.

Re-examined. I have examined the signatures carefully, and I say they are forgeries.

ROBERT SAGER (City Police Inspector). On 22nd October I was keeping observation on 115, Hayter Road, Forest Gate, and when Phillips left I said, "Mr. Phillips, I am an officer, and these are officers here from the City; I am going to arrest you for forging and uttering letters of credit on Drexel and Morgan, of London and other places"—he said, "I have got no letters of credit; I know nothing about them"—I took him to the station.

GUILTY **— Seven Years each in Penal Servitude.

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