Show Hide image

Police investigate Crown Currency collapse

8,000 people lodged claims with the administrators for £16.5m it owed them.

The Economic Crime Unit of Devon and Cornwall Police has launched a fraud investigation into the multi-million pound collapse of foreign exchange group Crown Currency Exchange after 8,000 people lodged claims with the administrators for £16.5m it owed them.

Detective inspector Paul Bean of the force's Serious Organised Crime Branch is leading the probe "to establish any evidence of criminality".

The administrators' probe into the collapsed Crown Currency Exchange released this week revealed that its directors Peter and Susan Benstead accepted more than £1m from holidaymakers even though they knew the company was insolvent.

Even after Benstead told Barclays, the company's bank, that the business was bust, Crown Currency took £1.1m from its customers and also made a £493,000 loan to another company owned by Benstead, Mayfair and Grant.

Joint administrators MCR and SPW have appointed forensic IT experts to scourge through the firm's computer systems and hardware for evidence of "misfeasance, fraudulent trading and wrongful trading."

Crown went into administration in October owing an estimated £16.5m to around 13,000 customers.