'Underworld gangster' loan shark jailed for 12 years
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Legal
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A loan shark described as an "underworld gangster" has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Darren Wilson pleaded guilty to seven counts of illegal money lending and two counts of money laundering at a hearing in June.
For each of the seven counts for lending and laundering he was sentenced to two years in prison, to be served concurrently with an eight-year sentence for conspiracy to commit murder and a consecutive four-year sentence for conspiracy to commit arson. He was also given a concurrent four-year sentence for drugs offences.
The 46-year-old's six-year illegal lending reign came to an end in December 2012 when his home was raided by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.
Officers found records of 461 loans totalling nearly £210,000, and £3,795 in cash.
Typically between 50 and 100% interest was added to the loans, meaning in many cases people were paying back double the amount they had borrowed. Investigators also found a number of text messages on Wilson’s phone which provided further evidence that he had been offering and collecting loans.
During his sentencing at Hull Crown Court, Judge Mettyear described Wilson as acting like “an underworld gangster”.
Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “This case exemplifies how illegal money lending is often linked into wider criminality. We are continuing to crack down on offenders and bring them to justice through the courts. Loan sharks are motivated by their own greed and will trap borrowers into spiralling debt with exorbitant amounts of interest added."