LONDON: A man who produced counterfeit £20 notes on an industrial scale has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after he was identified following a visit to a high street sandwich shop. David Shepherd, 30 of Great Warley, Brentwood, Essex, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday 29, September, after he was convicted of two counts of counterfeiting under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
He was convicted of the charges after a Newton Hearing at the same court on 27 September. Shepherd was prosecuted as the result of a long-running investigation by the Met’s Serious Crime Unit.
The investigation began on 1 October 2015 after a counterfeit £20 note was used to purchase goods at a Pret-a-Manger outlet in Westminster. Shepherd’s fingerprints were identified on the counterfeit notes and a search warrant was executed at his home address on 18 May 2016.
Officers found evidence of counterfeiting equipment on an industrial scale, including printers, silver foils, UV inks, laminators, hard drives, templates and a large number of £20 notes in varying stages of production.
PayPal and eBay internet history also linked Shepherd to the purchase of silver foils and UV inks, whilst CCTV evidence confirmed his role in the passing of counterfeit currency. Further liaison with the Bank of England evidenced the counterfeit £20 notes via a unique serial number, believed to have been used across the UK. Norfolk Police provided CCTV evidence from a high street store in Great Yarmouth that showed Shepherd passing counterfeit currency.
Detective Constable Jonathan Roberts, of the Met’s Serious Crime Unit, said: “Shepherd was responsible for producing thousands of counterfeit bank notes from a forgery factory in his home address.”He was caught as the result of an investigation, carried out in partnership with the National Crime Agency’s National Counterfeit Unit, the Bank Of England and Norfolk Constabulary.