Two men men ran a ring of fraudsters who pretended to be Scottish businessmen in order to offload a pile of fake bank notes.
Dean Evans, 36, and Samuel Alexander, 25, both of Lewisham, were involved in a conspiracy to distribute £640,000 of counterfeit Bank of Scotland notes throughout the south of England.
Evans, of Brockley Park, Forest Hill, was identified as the main organiser of the conspiracy. He used a team of people dressed in suits who presented themselves as businessmen newly returned from Scotland, to trick shop keepers into taking the notes.
The counterfeit £50 and £100 Bank of Scotland notes were used to purchase low value goods in able to maximise the amount of legitimate currency received in change.
A group of con men would be in one vehicle, while Evans would supervise in another.
Alexander, of Duncombe Hill, Forest Hill, would supervised the distribution of the profits after the con, in a support vehicle.
In all, more than 200 fake notes were identified in London and surrounding counties from March 2016 to October 2017.
The pair were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Monday, 11 June after they pleaded guilty of conspiracy to pass a counterfeit currency note.
Evans was sentenced to four years and three months’ imprisonment and Alexander was sentenced to two years and eight months.
The investigation was led by officers from the Met’s Organised Crime Command, who were assisted by the National Counterfeit Currency Unit (UKNCO) at the National Crime Agency, which helped to provide intelligence about the method used by the defendants.
Detective Inspector Andy Durham, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “These defendants attempted to use hundreds of thousands of fake Scottish banknotes. The arrest of the individuals behind the conspiracy has disrupted the supply of these bank notes and, recent intelligence, suggests very few are left in circulation.
“This case demonstrates how criminals can often create a convincing back story to explain the use of large amounts of cash. Incidents of counterfeit notes being used are low but retailers are urged to check banknotes carefully, people trying to use a counterfeit note will often use it to buy a low value item.”
For more information about how to check if a banknote is counterfeit go to www.scotbanks.org.uk