Birmingham Live on 27th October carried an article saying that the Royal Mail say former dental technician Graham Rought, 56, defrauded it out of a potential £100,000 with stamp washing scam. He faces jail for selling used stamps from the garden shed where he carried out the illegal cottage industry. The swindle involves using used first- and second-class stamps – usually only of interest to collectors – which are purchased from organisations such as charities, washed, then sold online sites such as eBay, but he claims he initially did not realise the scheme was illegal. He and his co-defendant began bulk-buying the stamps in July 2013. The value of the stamps sold was £443,244, while they profited by £149,344. The majority of the sales were to businesses and traders. The stamps were laundered by chemically removing cancellation marks and using white spirit to remove glue. The stamps were then sold at a discount, latterly by a new business named Stampbusters. Last year, the Charity Commission warned charities collecting used stamps as a way of fundraising that they could be inadvertently “enabling fraud”.
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