Controversial print farmer Neill John is back in action with yet another variant of his book printing service.
John is the sole director of Hardback Printer Ltd (www.hardbackprinter.co.uk), which claims to operate from offices on Shortlands, London W6, and from a ‘regional office’ on Bath Street in Glasgow.
His full name is Neill Stuart Malcolm John, and he has also been known as Stuart John.
A further website, The Best Press (www.bestpress.co.uk), uses the same phone numbers and contact details and describes itself as “a London and Glasgow based Printing Company” specialising in book, magazine and catalogue printing.
There is no limited company registered with this name.
A customer of Hardback Printer contacted PrintWeek after his books failed to materialise on the due date.
The customer has been dealing with ‘Ted Stevens’ and ‘James Cornelius’ at Hardback Printer.
His experience mirrors that of customers of two companies connected to John through his associate Clair Rosina Hunnisett, which were shut down by the Insolvency Service last month for failing to complete contracts.
Hunnisett and John use the same correspondence address in Barry, Wales.
An Insolvency Service spokesman told PrintWeek that the next step would be to look into the conduct of the directors, management and individuals involved in the running of Printed Books Ltd and Offset Printers Ltd. “If misconduct is found we can apply for disqualification orders,” he stated.
In a damning verdict, Printed Books Ltd and Offset Printers Ltd were described as using “deceitful tactics” and were slammed by District Judge Khan who found in his judgement that both companies had traded with a lack of transparency, as well as a lack of commercial probity in that they made misrepresentations to customers, failed to handle customer data appropriately and failed to maintain and/or deliver up accounting records or co-operate with investigators.
In a statement, Irshard Mohammed, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said he was glad to have been able to use the courts to put a stop to the activities of the two firms.
“They used deceitful tactics to attract customers, demanded up-front payments and when customers complained having failed to receive their orders, the printers either blamed the customer or hid behind their Terms & Conditions,” he said.
"These winding-up proceedings should serve as a clear warning to dishonest companies that we will use the full weight of our powers and shut down businesses that operate unscrupulously."
John is also the sole shareholder of Printing Books Ltd, which changed its name to Bookworld Ltd on 22 October. He resigned as a director of the business on 24 April. The firm currently has one director, Edward Anil Joseph, with an address in India.
Joseph was also a director at Offset Printers Ltd.
Hardback Printers had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.
The companies named above are in no way connected to to Hampshire-based The Printing Press Ltd; specialist letterpress printer and bindery Book Printers Ltd of Finedon, Northamptonshire; Crewe-based The Printing House Ltd; UKPrint.biz, which is a trading name of Ruby Giraffe Ltd of Manchester; or www.bookprintinguk.com which is run by Bonacia Ltd in Peterborough.