A LOAN SHARK from Hertfordshire has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds in proceeds of crime monies.

Following a hearing at St Albans Crown Court on Tuesday, 20 June, Carol Fawcett, 54, of Guessens Road in Welwyn Garden City, was ordered to pay back over £77,000 in proceeds of crime.

The defendant, who was sentenced back in January for illegal money lending and money laundering, was given 3 months to pay the lump sum of money or face a default sentence of 9 months in prison.

Officers from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), who work in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Department and Hertfordshire Constabulary, executed a warrant at Fawcett’s home address on 26th February 2014.

During searches, IMLT officers seized cash totalling £9,940, over 100 cheques totalling nearly £18,000, diaries, documentation and pieces of assorted jewellery.

During a sentencing hearing back in January, prosecutor Ben Mills told the court how between March 2006 and February 2014, Carol Fawcett was running an illegal money lending business, issuing cash loans to members of the Filipino community.

The court heard how during the course of an interview under caution, Mrs Fawcett admitted to IMLT officers that she knew what she was doing was illegal and confessed to knowing that she needed a license to lend money.

The loan shark’s illegal enterprise consisted of loans being made to over 100 separate borrowers; the loans ranged from £50 to £3,500.

Fawcett would retain items of jewellery and pre-signed cheques from borrowers as security for the loans.

During an earlier hearing, the court was told about one victim’s experience of borrowing from the Carol Fawcett.

The victim, who met Mrs Fawcett at a party, had a loan for £300 back in 2011. Due to the victim being unable to pay the loan shark back, Carol became abusive on the victim’s Facebook account, swearing at her publically. The victim had previously been asked to provide a £300 signed cheque as security which Mrs Fawcett had tried to cash.

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), 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 be used.

“If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with the IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 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

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk  

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject