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Seven charged over Crown Currency Exchange collapse

Helen Knapman
Senior News Reporter
19 August 2013

Police have charged seven people in connection with the collapse of currency firm Crown Currency Exchange.

The currency exchange firm, based in Hayle in Cornwall, went into administration in October 2010.

At the time, it was thought 13,000 people were owed a combined £20 million in currency.

Last Thursday, following a lengthy investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police, seven people were charged following the collapse of two currency exchange companies – Crown Currency Exchange Ltd and Crown Holdings Ltd – and a 'cash for gold' company, Mayfair and Grant Ltd.

The following people were charged:

  • Peter Benstead, 70, from Penzance, Cornwall, was charged with fraudulent trading, money laundering, perverting the course of justice, theft, deception and false accounting and Companies Act offences.
  • Edward James, 73, from Glastonbury, Somerset, was charged with fraudulent trading, false accounting and Companies Act offences.
  • Julian Benstead, 44, from Penzance, was charged with fraudulent trading and theft.
  • Katey Calvimonte, 35, from Penzance, was charged with deception and perverting the course of justice.
  • Roderick Schmidt, 44, from Penzance, was charged with fraudulent accounting, perverting the course of justice, theft, false accounting and Companies Act offences.
  • Victoria O'Brien, 37, from Welwyn, Hertfordshire, was charged with perverting the course of justice.
  • Stephen Matthews, 50, from Penzance, was charged with fraudulent trading, theft, false accounting and Companies Act offences.

The seven have been released on bail to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court in central London on 17 September.

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