Chatham woman sentenced for illegal money lending

A woman from Chatham has been handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting to the offence of unlawful money lending amongst colleagues she worked with at a local hospital.

Malai Gambrill, 55, who worked as a caretaker at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent, started lending money to her colleagues and charging interest rates of around 60%, lending around £80,000 in total.

Gambrill, of Ingle Road, Chatham, appeared at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday, 12th May 2023, and was sentenced to 30 weeks custody, suspended for 12 months and 150 hours unpaid work.

The case was prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Kent County Council trading standards and Kent Police.

On 29th September 2020, officers from the IMLT worked alongside the police to execute the warrant at the defendant’s home and workplace. During a search of the address, documents containing evidence of illegal money lending were recovered. Furthermore, computer and a mobile phone device were also seized.

Ms Luttman prosecuting, said there had been no violence, threats or undue pressure to repay – which are usually elements associated with “loan sharking”.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:

“Perpetrators need to realise that this kind of activity will not be tolerated and by working with our partners we will do everything in our power to ensure those involved are brought to justice.

“I would urge anyone with information about illegal money lending to contact the team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or get help on www.stoploansharks.co.uk.”