Crown Currency Exchange Directors Arrested

tony nguyen

Two directors of Crown Currency Exchange company that collapsed owing £16 million to customers have been arrested on suspicion of fraud on wednesday 8th December

Peter Benstead and Edward James were arrested by detectives investigating the failure of Cornwall-based Crown Currency Exchange.

Detectives arrested the pair at addresses in Cornwall and Somerset yesterday morning as part of a criminal investigation into the dealings of the company.

Administrators MCR said more than 8,000 victims have so far lodged debt claims with them – including some who have lost between £100,000 and £400,000 each.

Benstead, who set up the company with wife Susan in 2004, was arrested in Cornwall and James, a Conservative councillor who has stood down temporarily as chairman of Mendip District Council, was arrested in Glastonbury.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the inquiry was expected to last several months and urged those who had lost out not to contact officers at present.

Detective Inspector Paul Bean, from the force's serious and organised crime branch, said: "It is expected that this will be a protracted inquiry that may take many months.

"Devon and Cornwall Police are liaising with both MCR, the administrators responsible for the affairs of CCE, and The Crown Currency Action Group in order to obtain contact details of these victims."

He said officers would contact those who had reported losing money in due course.

Administrators MCR are currently investigating Crown Currency Ltd and Crown Holdings (London) Ltd, the two companies which "traded as one entity", Crown Currency Exchange (CCE).

More than 13,000 holidaymakers and families moving abroad were owed cash when the company, based in Hayle, called in administrators in October.

Administrators said claims to date total nearly £16.5 million, with most transactions being between £100 and £20,000. CCE allowed customers to pre-order foreign currency at today's prices up to a year in advance.

It emerged after the firm went into administration that it was not regulated and therefore not covered by Financial Services Authority (FSA) compensation schemes – meaning customers cannot recover their cash through the FSA.

It is thought customers may only receive a fraction of cash lost as administrators have also not been able to raise cash by selling the firm as a going concern.

Around 150 customers met with administrators last Tuesday in Birmingham to hear if there was any hope of recouping their lost cash.

Jo Struyk, co-chairman of the Crown Currency Action Group, was among those at the creditors' meeting, and said campaigners would battle hard to reclaim the full amount owed.

Ms Struyk, from Halifax in West Yorkshire, said the group had the backing of MPs and hoped to meet Treasury officials in the next few weeks.

A spokesman for the administrators said: "We expect our ongoing investigations to continue to uncover the facts and we're all working hard to get a resolution to this administration case."

A spokesman for Mendip District Council said: "Cllr Edward James temporarily stood aside from his role as chairman of Mendip District Council in October for a period of three months following recent media coverage of the collapse of Crown Currency Exchange, as he felt that this would be in the best interests of the reputation of the council.

"Following a recent Standards Committee decision, Mendip District Council has stressed that Cllr James' association with the company and any alleged conduct relates entirely to Cllr James' private and personal life and not his conduct or role as a councillor. Therefore Mendip District Council is not permitted to take any further action at this time."

Company Details

Crown Currency Exchange Directors Arrested

Get a quick quote

Open Account with Halo Financial

Halo Financial are located at:
11 Ivory House, Plantation Wharf, , Greater London, SW11 3TN, United Kingdom

Get a Quick Quote

Newsletter Signup to CMT

Sign up to our foreign exchange newsletter to receive news updates directly by email

Compare Money Transfer will not Share your details!

Bank Exchange Rates Comparison

High St Bank Exchange Rate

All Rights Reserved: Copyright 2006 - 2018 Compare Money Transfer Limited offering FCA Regulated Suppliers - 34 New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8JY. +44 (0) 843 357 4882