A 54 year old man, who operated as a loan shark in Greater Manchester, has today been sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months for illegal money lending.
A 54 year old man, who operated as a loan shark in Greater Manchester, has today been sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months for illegal money lending. He was also given a 14 days sentence also suspended for 18 months for the possession of cocaine and was ordered to wear an electronic tag following a hearing at Manchester Crown Court.
Samuel Hayes, of Court Drive, Manchester was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Manchester City Council Trading Standards and Greater Manchester Police.
On behalf of the prosecution, Solicitor Simon Mortimer told the court how Hayes had been running a money lending business in the Greater Manchester area.
He had done so without the required licence from December 2011 to November 2014.On 6th November 2014 a warrant was executed by officers from the IMLT at Hayes’s address. As part of the investigation, officers seized items relating to money lending along with cocaine.
SUMMARY OF CASE.
- HAYES had been lending to his customers since 2011. A total of 118 people had received loans. Hayes had issued at least 280 loans.
- Interest rates varied from 50% up to 100% with the most common rate being 70%. Every loan had a £25.00 admin fee added to the balance.
- Penalty fees were added to the balance for missed payments equal to the value of the missed weekly / monthly payment.
- Hayes had collected at least £102,123 since December 2011.
- At the time of his arrest, the loan book was worth £212,211.
Upon sentencing Judge Blake said “Unregulated loan businesses spread and that is why we have legislation because people are weak and give into temptation.
You were running a substantial business, in the local area; you had 118 customers and outstanding loans and penalties.Almost £6000 was found at your home, this was a substantial business, and cocaine was your lifestyle.”
Cllr Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for neighbourhoods, said: "Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable members of our community, causing misery in our communities and in these hard financial times a lot of people feel they have no option but to fall into their grasp. I would always urge residents to contact one of the many credit unions which provide an excellent service instead of even thinking about dealing with a loan shark.
For years, illegal money lenders have behaved like they could spread their misery without fear of reprisal, but Hayes is just the latest loan shark who has found that loan sharks activity will be tackled head on in our region.
Anyone who knows anything about these criminals' activities should contact the confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said;
“Loan Sharks are not a community service and target people who can least afford it, often charging extortionate amounts of interest. We would urge anybody who is under the control of a loan shark to call us on 0300 555 2222 and we can help.”
Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 324 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 206 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £62 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,000 victims.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
Notes to Editors
The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
The National Trading Standards Board provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.
The Stop Loan Sharks Project consists of three Illegal money lending teams in England, Scotland and Wales.The National Trading Standards Board has responsibility for the England and Wales Illegal Money Lending Teams that are hosted by Birmingham City Council and Cardiff Council. There are separate arrangements in place in
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 310 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 200 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £55 million worth of illegal debt and helped nearly 24,000 people.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.