Follow Metropolitan Police

Man jailed for foreign currency exchange fraud

News   •   Nov 08, 2019 15:33 GMT

Image: Wayne Watkins

A man has been sentenced at the Old Bailey for defrauding 76 people out of foreign currency exchange following an investigation by the Met’s Economic Crime Command.

On Thursday, 7 November, Wayne Watkins, 47, [31.10.72] of Camden, appeared at the Old Bailey where he was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment for fraud by false representation.

In June 2018, Wayne Watkins had taken over the running of his father’s business, Camden FX [also known as Camden Tourist Information Centre], which provided a service where customers would make a sterling funds transfer to the company bank account and a courier would deliver their chosen foreign currency.

Prior to Watkins taking over, the business had been run efficiently and successfully by his father.

However, Watkins suffered with a number of addictions, and within two weeks in June 2018, he withdrew large amounts of customers’ money in order to fund his alcohol, gambling and drug addictions.

He didn’t contact the customers whose money he had spent, nor did he provide their ordered foreign currency.

In total Watkins defrauded 76 victims out of £90,000 in holiday money.

Watkins initially pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation, but pleaded guilty before the case went to trial.

On sentencing, Her Honour Judge Munro QC described the victim impact statements provided to the court as ‘tragic reading.’

Based on the impact statements, the Judge increased the sentencing parameters from a Category three to a Category two offence yielding a minimum sentence of 3 years [minus discount for early guilty plea].

Detective Constable Simon Ardeman said: “Dozens of people were defrauded by Watkins. I hope that this sentence gives the victims, who endured considerable financial loss, stress and inconvenience, a sense of justice."