The Telegraph reports that one of the UK’s leading stamp-collectors is to put his collection up for auction on eBay, to pay back thousands of pounds he stole from church funds. The accountant, who has been labelled one of the country’s top five philatelists, was convicted of the theft of Â£70,000 from the two Norfolk churches. He spent the money on building up his huge stamp collection, and on funding an internet gambling habit.
The fraudster was jailed for 16 months last September, but is now free, and he has repaid Â£15,000 so far to the churches. Prosecutors wanted to sell the stamp collection at a conventional auction, but the 53-year old man told them that he could make more money – he estimated up to Â£100,000 if he sold individual lots on eBay. Once the churches have been repaid, he will keep any excess. But the judge warned that “This man will be a fool if he tries to cream off any of this money. … He’ll spend a lot more time behind bars if he tries to rip us off.”