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Business

‘Bonnie and Clyde’ of print dealt eight-year ban

After many stories of customers being ripped off by rogue print farmer Neill Stuart Malcolm John, the Insolvency Service has disqualified him for eight years.

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John and Hunnisett had left printers and customers out of pocket

As one part of what has become known as the ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ of the print industry, John’s business practices were well documented in Print Monthly, with many stories from customers who had paid John for a print job and never received the order.

John traded under various company names and used a number of websites with similar layouts offering cheap printing services.

John, along with partner Clair Hunnisett, operated under Printed Books Ltd, Book Printer UK, The Printing Press and UK, Litho Printing Limited and Paper Press Limited and Paperback Printer, Bookworld Ltd and Hardback Printer Ltd, which were all guises for the same operation run by the same people.

The disqualification relates to his directorship of Houseprint Ltd, in which the Insolvency Service says John continued to use “a flawed business model, which had been instrumental in the failure of at least three previous companies” that John acted as director for, including Masterclass Associates Limited, Ambeck Corporation Limited and Tyson Media Limited.

John continued to use 'a flawed business model, which had been instrumental in the failure of at least three previous companies'

The report from the Insolvency Service states that when Masterclass, Ambeck and TML entered liquidation, losses to creditors stood at £202,149, £151,328 and £314,960 respectively.

The companies operated the same business model, outsourcing the vast majority of work to printers based abroad. When Houseprint Ltd entered liquidation on November 8th, 2016, creditors were owed £493,010.

One of the biggest losses reported to Print Monthly was that of a printer in Ukraine that lost around £90,000 in unpaid invoices from John, who was using the name ‘Ted’ at the time. Some of John’s firms were wound-up by the Official Receiver in October of last year but he continued to operate under other business names.

The Insolvency Service concluded that there were no reasonable or probable grounds for expecting Houseprint to succeed, where John’s other companies had failed.

John’s director ban commenced on May 7th, 2019 and is in place for eight years.

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