A Kirkcaldy man tried to pass off thousands of pounds worth of fake £2 coins as genuine at post offices across Fife in the hope of changing them into legitimate cash.
Staff recognised Mohammed Khalid’s strange behaviour and a police probe uncovered discrepancies with the coins – including poorly executed detailing of the Queen’s hair and crown.
The 31-year-old pled guilty to seven charges relating to forgery and counterfeiting at premises in the Kirkcaldy and Leven areas over a period of five days in 2020.
In total, he attempted to pass off £3,680 of fake coins as genuine.
Post office staff suspicious
Procurator fiscal depute Michael Robertson told Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court that on April 1 2020, at a post office in Kirkcaldy’s Bennochy Road, Khalid turned up with £1,000 worth of £2 coins and asked to exchange them for notes.
The server noticed the coins in £20 bags weighed correctly but found it strange that Khalid had been in just two days before with £500 worth of £2 coins when it was agreed the money would be paid into a bank account.
On the same date at a post office at a Co-op in Kirkcaldy’s Ralston Drive, Khalid asked for bags of £2 coins – totalling £200 – to be deposited into a Barclays account and then asked to withdraw the same amount in notes.
Mr Robertson said enquiries were then made and CCTV was examined from the post office.
‘Poorly executed’ fakes
The coins were analysed and discrepancies were found, including all coins being dated from 2011 and the silver part of the discs being “poorly executed.”
The depute fiscal said: “Details were poor and non-existent.
“Details of the Queen’s hair and crown were also poor.
“Police made further enquiries with surrounding post offices and they had also been victims.”
A search was later carried out at Khalid’s home, where “certain quantities of coins were seized.”
Defence lawyer Martin McGuire said the counterfeit coin scheme was put to Khalid by “another party” and “he went along with it” but does accept responsibility.
Mr McGuire said his client, of Dean Park Court in Kirkcaldy, is someone with additional needs and has a guardianship order over his wellbeing because of those needs.
Sheriff Maryam Labaki imposed a structured deferred sentence for three months, which means Khalid must comply with the social work department within this time frame.
He will return to court for a progress report on May 24.
Khalid admitted passing or tendering as genuine £1,000 worth of fake £2 coins at a post office in a Co-op store in Kirkcaldy’s Bennochy Road on April 1 2020.
Two days before this, he presented counterfeit £2 coins to the value of £500 at the same post office.
He also passed or tendered as genuine another £500 worth of the fake coins in the same premises on April 3 in 2020.
Khalid also passed or tendered as genuine fake coins to the value of £200 at a post office in a Co-op in the town’s Ralston Drive on April 1.
On March 30 2020, Khalid presented £500 of fake £2 coins at the Linktown post office in Links Street, Kirkcaldy, and on the same date he passed as genuine another £480 of phoney £2 coins at Millerfield Superstore in New Road, Kennoway.
He also passed or tendered as genuine £500 worth of fake £2 coins at the Co-op in Lochleven Road, Lochore, on April 1 2020.