Letter from David Irving and his Publishing Company to a firm of lawyers stated by Lance Frickensmith to be instructed as his lawyers in this matter, January 19, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Dear Mrs Gilbert-Manuel,
Re.: Fraudulent conversion of items from our stocks in safekeeping of your clients.
We understand that you act for World War II Books, namely Mr. Lance & Mrs. Judith Frickensmith, of Bement, IL 61813 (hereafter "Your Clients"). Kindly inform us immediately if this is not the case. [Note: see below]
2. In about 1994 we reached an arrangement whereby Your Clients would provide uninsured safekeeping at no charge in spare space at their warehouse at 132 East Wing Street, Bement, IL 61856 ("the Premises"), for the safe storage of boxes of our books, in return for and in consideration of which we would allow Your Clients inter alia (a) to market some (but not all) of certain of these items at a reasonable commercial discount which at no time was agreed to exceed our standard maximum discount of 55 percent; (b) to have free and exclusive sales concession space at our annual Cincinnati history meeting; and (c) to represent themselves as sole distributor of our products in one online marketplace, namely Amazon.com.
3. That business relationship has now ended last year, after we asked Your Clients to make a full and proper accounting for items they had removed from stocks (described by them as "shelf transfers"), and we did not receive a satisfactory response.
4. For the past nine months or longer we have been pressing Your Clients to permit us to make an inspection of our remaining stock and items on the premises. After resisting and blocking every such request, Your Clients finally made a limited inspection possible on Friday January 14, though not permitting a proper numerical inventory, possibly upon advice from your goodselves. This inspection was time-limited by Your Clients to one hour only which we consider unreasonable.
5. For twelve months we have been concerned by accumulating evidence that Your Clients had (wholly improperly and without our permission) breached the contents of our stocks and our possessions stored in their safekeeping, including boxes sealed and addressed only to us, e.g. boxes of goods including new books which we shipped to the Premises direct from the UK; and boxes of brand new books, namely our expensive and exclusive Classic Series, addressed to us and shipped directly to us at the Premises by our US printers in Tennessee. (We asked Your Clients to forward them at our expense to us, but Your Clients did not in every case do so, as we have only now established, and stole many of the contents).
6. My agent making the inspection (para. 4) was [...], and I will provide a copy of her very detailed report by way of Discovery if we find we are obliged to take this matter further by pressing criminal charges and/or a civil claim which we are sure your clients will wish to avoid. Your Clients permitted Mrs. ..., though under duress, to remove certain items, and we intend to evacuate the remainder within the next ten days as Your Clients have suggested. Of immediate concern to us are four serious areas of dispute involving the disappearance of stock items valued prima facie at over 100,000 dollars.
7.(a) To our surprise, we two months ago found our Classic series books being offered for sale on the Internet by third parties, who confirmed to us that they had (quite innocently) obtained them from Your Clients, not realising that they were in fact stolen property as we contend.
We are looking for full restitution either of all these illegally removed items in clean and saleable condition, or for 100 percent of their retail value.
7.(b) Your Clients have removed our entire stock of the book "Hitler's War" (Millennium Edition, 2002), and have indicated to my agent that they will not return these books to us. We consider that about one thousand of these books, retailing and valued by us at fifty dollars each, have been removed.
We are looking for a proper account of how many books of each title have been removed from our stocks by Your Clients ("shelf transfers") and for full restitution either of these illegally removed items, or for 45 percent of the retail value of those disposed of by Your Clients up to the ending of our business relationship last year and 100 percent thereafter.
7(c) On a pallet shipped by us from England to us at your client's premises on September 9, 2009 we included two sealed boxes of valuable original Third Reich era books, the property of a Mrs [...] in London, widow of a collector. Despite our repeated injunctions, both verbal and written, to Your Clients that they desist from improperly unsealing and opening boxes addressed solely to us, Your Clients once again opened every box on this pallet and in some cases retained them concealed at the premises. So far as we can tell, the [...] items have vanished and not been made available to my agent for restitution.
We are looking for these stolen items to be restituted to us in full, or full value in lieu.
8. On the same pallet were two boxes containing DVDs, 100 copies each, of two well-known Leni Riefenstahl films, 200 DVDs in all. These were manufactured by us, and are our property. (It was found that these would not play in the USA, and we returned them to the Premises pending their return to the UK.) We have arranged with the owner of the licences, who is not your client, to pay him an appropriate licence fee for each DVD. Your client has removed these DVDs and he has refused to inform my agent of their whereabouts. They are our property.
We are looking for full restitution either of these illegally removed items, or for 100 percent of their retail value namely $20 per DVD.
9. Furthermore, we are asking that your client provide
(a) properly audited accounts of what he has removed from our stocks and sold, including but not limited to third party distributors such as the Institute of Historical Review and Kenneth Usher and Michael Kelly of Rapid City SD, of whom we have only recently heard; and
10. We are looking for complete, timely, and proper payment in full of any balance owing to us at the end of this necessary exercise (para. 9) and we trust that you will advise Your Client of the risks he will incur by depriving us of or disposing further of items illegally obtained from our stocks.
The law firm replied:
I do not represent Lance & Judith Frickensmith regarding this matter, therefore I will not accept any further communication from Focal Point publications
- copied to Lance & Judith Frickensmith.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Prior to receiving your letter I had not spoken with Mr. Frickensmith regarding this matter. Once I received your letter I wrote to Mr. Frickensmith telling him I cannot represent him in this matter and forwarded to him a copy of my letter to you and your letter to me.
Manuel Law Firm."