7 charged in Cornwall fraud case

Seven people have been charged in connection with the collapse of a Cornwall based foreign currency firm.

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PICTURE of suspected fraudster

Peter Benstead was a Joint Director of the firms. Credit: ITV News West Country

Peter Benstead was a Joint Director of Crown Currency Exchange Ltd and Crown Holdings, which collapsed owing around £16m to 8,000 people.

He was a long serving town, district and county councillor in Cornwall.

The CPS allege Mr Benstead knowingly carried on business for a fraudulent purpose and falsified accounts.

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CPS charge 7 people with fraud

Following a thorough investigation by Devon and Cornwall Police, we have today authorised seven people to be charged in connection with two companies operating in the field of foreign currency exchange - Crown Currency Exchange Ltd and Crown Holdings Ltd and a third associated 'cash for gold' company - Mayfair and Grant Ltd."

– Sue Patten, Head of Fraud, Crown Prosecution Service

7 charged with fraud offences

Seven people have been charged in connection with the collapse of a Cornwall based foreign currency firm.

8,000 people are thought to have lost around £16m of their holiday money when Crown Currency Exchange based in Hayle went into administration in 2010.

  • Peter Benstead, 70, from Penzance, former long serving town, district and county councillor
  • Julian Benstead, 44, from Penzance
  • Katey Calvimonte, 35, from Penzance
  • Roderick Schmidt, 44, from Penzance
  • Stephen Matthews, 50, from Penzance
  • Edward James, 73, from Glastonbury, former Mayor of Glastonbury
  • Victoria O'Brien, 37, from Welwyn in Hertfordshire

All seven have been released on bail to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London in September.

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