Two loan sharks from Bracknell, who ran separate illegal money lending businesses across the town, have been ordered to pay back over £70,000 in proceeds of crime.
Following a hearing at Reading Crown Court today, Anthony Crosby, 54, of Evedon, Bracknell was ordered to pay back £50,000 in proceeds of crime. He was given 1 month to pay the amount or faces a 9 month default prison sentence.
Patrick Angus Frederick Gilham, 50, of Froxfield Down in Bracknell was ordered to pay back over £24,000 in proceeds of crime at an earlier hearing on 24th February 2017.
Both loan sharks were sentenced to 6 months, suspended for 18 months and were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work back in late 2016.
Mr Crosby and Mr Gilham were investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) who work in partnership with Bracknell Forest Council’s Trading Standards Department and Thames Valley Police. On 8th September 2015, warrants were executed at the home addresses of both loan sharks. IMLT officers recovered a quantity of documentation demonstrating illegal money lending activity.
The documents recovered from the home address of Anthony Crosby demonstrated money lending since at least 2011. The business had issued 15 loans to 15 different people in that time, together amounting of loans of at least £30,000.
Patrick Gilham had been running an illegal money lending business over a period of about 3 years, primarily out of the Bracknell area of Berkshire. Documentation recovered from his home address on 8th September 2015 revealed that 56 cash loans, valuing at over £80,000 had been provided to 25 different borrowers.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“Another loan shark has been ordered to pay back for the crime that they once committed.
“We are continuing to crack down on illegal money lending and bringing those who break the law to justice. It’s important to remember that loan sharks are only motivated by greed and should never been used.
“If you or someone you know has been a victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled confidentially by one of our trained officers.”
Cllr Iain McCracken, Executive Member for Culture, Corporate Services and Public Protection said:
“In Bracknell we support the important work of the England Illegal Money Lending Team. This case is a clear example of how local trading standards work with the IMLT, police and other agencies to protect local communities from loan sharks.
“It should serve as a clear warning to other illegal money lenders that they will be pursued and prosecuted. I would encourage anyone being victimised by a loan shark to come forward and seek help.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject