Rogue online printers receive lengthy bans

Warnings have been regularly issued to ICSM members about the business duo from Barry in Wales known as the ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ of printing.

No members were caught out by the schemes run by Neill Malcolm Stewart John and Clair Hunnisett but hundreds were. Now John has been banned from being a director of a firm for eight years following legal action by the Insolvency Service.

ICSM and the trade and national press have charted the activities of the duo who traded under a variety of names posing as online printers. These included 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.

An earlier outfit run by John under the name of Houseprint had been wound up owing hundreds of thousands of pounds, but he continued to operate under new names often using the same website design. Customers were drawn in by the low prices and big promises paying money up front which was not returned when no printing appeared. Printers were also stung with invoices remaining unpaid.

Writing in Print Week, Jo Francis noted that Clair Hunnisett also received a lengthy ban. She wrote: “She has been disqualified from acting as a director for six years, effective from 1 May. The Insolvency Service said that the pair were barred from ‘directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.’”

Print Week reported: “Like John, Hunnisett’s disqualification relates to activities around Houseprint, which traded as The Printing House, and two previous companies operated by the duo: Ambeck Corporation and Tyson Media. The companies claimed to offer low price book, journal and magazine printing services. 

“The track record of failures involved escalating losses for creditors.  Ambeck went into liquidation owing £151,328; the print farming business then continued through Tyson Media leaving creditors owed £314,960, and when that firm continued through Houseprint, it also went on to fail leaving a total deficiency of £493,011.

“In addition, John’s disqualification also includes matters relating to a fourth company, Masterclass Associates, with creditors left out of pocket there to the tune of £202,149.”

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