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Two jailed for fake £1 coins money laundering con

Sandwell | News | Published:

Two men have been jailed for their part in a money laundering scheme making thousands of fake £1 coins.

Robert Graham Smith, from Tipton, and a 54-year-old Bridgnorth man produced 'high quality' fakes that were difficult to distinguish from the real thing.

The con, potentially worth £500,000, was in operation behind the front of a parking logistics company in Wombourne.

Smith and the Bridgnorth man, who cannot be named as he faces further court proceedings, were given three years and four months and seven years respectively. Smith, aged 43, admitted conspiracy to make counterfeit cash but his co-accused was found guilty by a jury.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that at the point police foiled their plan, the operation's potential yield was £538,000 and the Bridgnorth man had designs on upping production to 10,000 coins a week.

He had used a parking logistics firm to explain the bags of coins he was taking to the bank. Police raiding his unit at Heathmill Enterprise Centre in Wombourne unearthed a stash of blank discs ready to be printed.

Smith was paid £500 a week to collect the blanks and deliver them to a destination.

Smith, of Bedford Street, told the court: "I just looked on it as a guaranteed wage, it wasn't a get rich scheme to me."

Mr Stephen Thomas prosecuting said: "The defendant and Mr Smith purchased two heavy stamping machines to make high quality counterfeit coins."

Mr Phillip Bradley, defending the Bridgnorth man, described his client as a 'successful businessman' who had suffered a 'fall from grace'.

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