Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

8 articles on this Page

EPITOME OF NEWS. ............-


Three Children Murdered by…

Examination of the Prisoner.1…

The Inquest.




MXTRAORDINAU¥ F&AUDS UPON foreigners. A Frenchman, who gave the name of Louis Jordan, but who had passed by several other names, who resided at 4f, Whiskiu-street, Clerkenwell, and whose real occupation was unknown; and an English woman named Angelina Jordan, who was said to be his wife, and who lived- with him at the same address, were brought, on Friday, before the Lord Mayor, at the Justice Room of the Mansion-house, on a charge of having, withers not in custody, conspired together and obtained ,by false pretences, on the 21st ins.t., a post- office order, No. 88, representing about MO francs, or about dS4, thereby defrauding Signor Yalerio Castel- bini of his money. The male prisoner, who said he did not understand English, and to whom the evidence vi was interpreted by an officer of the court, appeared about thirty years of age. He wore a meustache, and was respectably dressed. The female, who is a re- markably well-looking young woman, was somowhat fashionably attired in a pork-pie hat and veil, shawl, and silk dress. They were both undefended. Though this case as entered,upon the charge.sheet would not seem to possess any features of more than ordinary interest, y«t from the evidence given and the circumstances known to the police, there can be very little doubt that it is destined to occupy no .in:}on- sidera^le share of public attention, both in England and all over the Continent, and that it will hereafter take rank among the annala of swindling and at- tempted swindling carried out upon an extensive scale. £ )ome of its main features have been already made public in d-etached forms, for it will be remem- bered that last week the Italian Consul and this week the Spasisb Consul made oral and sent written state- ments to the Lord Mayor, which were published in the papers, to the effect that persons in Lon- don had written to Italy, Spain, and other parts of the Continent, under different names, repre- senting to their correspondents that certain boxes containing valuable property, and some packets containing legacies, addressed to the said correspondents, had been received in the metro- polisfrom Rio Janeiro and elsewhere, upon which the writers, acting in their capacity of generalagents, had paid certain charges, and requesting that the amounts they were out of pocket might be transmitted to them by cheques or otherwise, promising that then the boxes and packets would be duly forwarded to their respective owners. In reply to one of these letters, Signor Valerio Castelbini, who is believed to be a private gentleman living at Sienna, in Italy, sent the parties a post-office order for lOOf., and it was for receiving this order, cashing it, and appropriating the proceeds to their own use, upon false pretences, there being no box or packet received by them for this gentleman, that they were now brought up. The letter he forwarded to them with the order was dated "Sienna., 15th August, 1885," and was addressed to "Messrs. G. H. Bigdon and Co. one of the fictitious names or firms under which the prisoners and their accomplices were passing:— Euclos-edyou will And an international .post-office order on Paris for 100 francs, according to the contents of your letter of the 96h inst. Please to forward through the post, registered, the parcel which you have to my address, and if you incur any further expense I willreunbuTàe the same to you on advice in the same way.—I am, with thanks, your servant, VALEEIO CASTELBINI. There is now no doubt that the prisoners received very many letters similar to this one, with remittances Most of the letters so recervad by them were regis. tered, and were in answer to some 15,000 written by themselves to every part of the Continent, and in -which they had made the same false representation respecting the receipt Of boxes and packets addressed to their correspondents, and requested cheques or post-office orders to be forwarded for the t&arges said to have been paid thereon. When the prisonera were on Friday put to the bar, Inspector Hamilton, chief of the detective depart- ment, said, that in consequence of the representations made at this court a few days ago, by the Italian and; Spanish Consuls, he and others of the force were re-; •quested to try and bring the offending parties to! justice. They had succeeded in apprehending the two in the dock, who were believed to be the principals in one of the most gigantic courses of swindling, exten- ding over the whole of the Continent, which had ever been brought under the notice of the public. The ramifications of the parties had been upon so large a scale, and BO well framed and carried out, that, without the adoption of aotive measures, it would be impossi- ble to ascertain the extent of the'frauds they had attempted, and in many of which they had been successful. At present the proseoution was in a weak -state, owing to the difficulty of communicating with distaint parts of the Continent, and therefore he hoped the Lord Mayor would manifest forbearance on that occasion, and make allowance for the deficiency of evidence to bring home to the prisoners the material pointe,againat them. If a remand were granted, he had no doubt whatever that he should be in a position to establish very numerous cases of fraud upon their oarta. Mary Ashley examined Her husband's name was ( John, and he was a builder. She lived at 20, Grafton- j street, Fitzroy-square, and knew both the prisoners. s She saw the male prisoner on the 4th of Ma7 last. He j same to her house then to take a bedroom. There was. another gentleman with him of a rather fair com- plexion, and she had never seen the latter since. The prisoner never occupied the bedroom, and after he had taken it she did not see him again for nearly a fort- night. He came then and said that letters would come; for him, and that she waa to take great care of them. When he firat took the room she asked him for his address, and he gave it to her. He wrote it down as fol- j lows: William Whabbulat and Co., 13, Princes-street, Chelsea." He also wrote down the name of the party who was with him as Damerot. In a few Qays after the fortnight he came again. There were a quantity of letters arrived in the meantime, somewhere about twenty, perhaps more, addressed to "William Rhabbulat and Co., Agents." She gave him those lettora. She saw that they were nearly all foreign letters. A great many of them were registered. He had told her before that when his letters arrived there would be sometimes money in them or valuable property, and she said in reply that her husband did not allow her to sign for anything of that kind. He told her that that would make no con- sequence, and that he wished her to sign. She asked the postman about it, and he said that, if she signed the letters for Rhabbalat, he (Rhabbulat) would have to sign a receipt to her. She told the prisoner this, and he said he had no objection at all to do what the postman required. Several registered letters came after that, and she signed for all of them. She made out a list in writing of all ihe L registered, lettereshe signed for, and that list she now handed in. The female prisoner oametheweek before last. He told witness the day before she came, that was about Thursday week, that he should bring his wife the following day, and that she was to give the letters up to her that came every day, and that she (the wife) was to sign the Teeeiota for the rogistered letters with his signature at the bottom. He then signed several receipts for them in blank on a couple of sheets of paper, and these his wife was also to sign as the registered letters arrived. She (the wife) signed several reeeipts. All but the last four were filled up by himself. He signed receipts for registered letters received on the 6th, 19th, 20th, Z.2nd, '26th, 27th, and 29th of June, also on the 8th, 10th, 24th, 27th. and 28th of July, and also on the 3rd, 8th, 10th, 11th, 19th, 21st, and 22nd of Auguat. Generally only one registered letter arrived at a time, but there were two on the 22/id of July, and four on the 21st of August. The female prisoner received the letters on the last three days, and she received eight registered letters in all. Neither of the prisoners gave the name of Jordan. Witness believed that every one of the letters cime from abroad. They were all ad- dressed to Wm. Rhabbulat and Co., agents." No business whatever was carried on by the prisoners at witness's house. The Lord Mayor asked whether they had paid her anything? Witness replied that they paid her 5a. a week. A parcel for them came from 53; Gracechuroh-street, on the 2nd of July, containing samples of wine. There werehalf-a-dozen bottles in a box, and her husband and herself refused to take it in. Several gentlemen called to see the male prisoner. They were princi- pally foreigners. They asked to see Mr. Rhabbulat on business, and inquired if he had not an office there. They appeared not to be his friends, but persons who did not know him personally. He had no office there. He never slept in the room, which had a sofa bed in it. Witness put the letters as they arrived in the room y for him. He said at first he should want the room from ten o'clock to four, for he should have a great deal of writing to do. He never wrote there, and only stopped about five minutes every time he came. He never gave witness any letters to take to the post. Evidence was then given as to circulars in the pri- soners' possession which identified them with a series of frauds, and proving the number of letters received at 41, Whiskin-street were all delivered to either one or other of the prisoners. The case was remanded for a week.