Loan shark convicted of illegal money lending
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Legal
A Manchester loan shark has been convicted of 16 counts of illegal money lending and money laundering following an 18-day trial.
Sandra Dawn Lowe was arrested in July 2012 after the England Illegal Money Lending Team, working in partnership with Manchester City Council, executed a warrant at her home on Arnott Crescent, Hulme.
Documentation and almost £800 in cash was seized during the raid. Manchester Crown Court heard she had been running the illegal business for more than seven years.
The 50-year-old has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced in March.
Councillor Kate Chappell said: "Loan sharks are ruthless criminals who target some of the most vulnerable members of society and exploit the fact that the economic downturn has left many people struggling to make ends meet.
"But the days when loan sharks could expect to get away with causing misery are over, and the illegal money lending team is working closely with the police and council to bring these people to justice, as today's outcome demonstrates. I'd urge anyone with information about loan sharks operating in the city's neighbourhoods to call the team's confidential hotline, while anyone who needs to borrow money should contact one of the many credit unions which work in the city."
Nationally the Stop Loan Shark Project has secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years worth of custodial sentences. It has written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 victims.