Dunmow man sentenced after leading counterfeit coin operation
- Credit: Essex Police
A Dunmow man and his son have been sentenced for their involvement in an operation to make counterfeit coins worth £200,000.
The father and son were part of a four-man gang making fake £2 coins in Basildon which they sold at boot sales across Essex.
Robert Mead, 68, of Braintree Road in Dunmow was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, July 30.
He admitted to a charge of conspiracy to make counterfeit currency in September 2019.
An Essex Police investigation found that Mead leased the warehouse and led the operation.
His 31-year-old son Bobby Mead, of Cecil Court, Southend admitted to the same charge and was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
Dave Venables, 60, of Gordon Road, Basildon and 74-year-old David Marshall, of Hunts Drive, Writtle also received suspended nine-month prison sentences for conspiracy to make counterfeit currency.
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Essex Police began investigating the gang in November 2017.
They received information that fake £2 coins were being made in Basildon and sold on.
Officers searched an industrial unit in Southfields Business Park with support from the National Crime Agency’s Counterfeit Currency Unit and The Royal Mint.
Police found £1,495 in cash and fake coins in Robert Mead's car and £5,600 in the boot of Venables' Jaguar.
They also found equipment used for making coins in Marshall's Jaguar, while Bobby Mead was identified using fingerprints found on metal strips inside the warehouse.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Nelson said producing counterfeit currency is not a victimless crime.
DCI Nelson said: "Worthless fake coins and notes put consumers and businesses out of pocket.
"Fraudsters also use fake money to con vulnerable people and charities."
He added: "Our investigation found the defendants had bought enough metal to make 107,640 coins, equivalent to £215,280."
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: “UK coins are amongst the most secure in the world, featuring layers of intricate designs and latent features.
"We work with the authorities and cash industry to ensure any examples are quickly identified and removed from circulation.”