A loan shark who targeted vulnerable and grieving customers has been ordered to pay back £40,000.
Anthony Suku, 66, from Liverpool, admitted charges of unlawful money lending and money laundering and was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Liverpool Crown Court in April. He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid community work and adhere to a curfew of 8pm-6am for three months.
The case was prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Liverpool Trading Standards and Merseyside Police.
The court was told former doorman Suku started by lending to people he knew but the business grew to a point where he was making an annual income of around £52,000.
He ran his illegal money lending business for a period of three years, lending to at least 26 people. Some of the loans were for wedding and funeral expenses.
The case was back at Liverpool Crown Court on August 14 when a confiscation order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act, ordering Suku, of Beaconsfield Street, to pay back £40,000.
Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “We use the POCA legislation to ensure that these criminals are forced to repay at least some of their ill-gotten gains.
“We are determined to ensure that they do not continue to benefit financially from criminal activity.”
Anyone who has any information about illegal money lending activity is urged to get in touch with the IMLT on the 24-hour confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222, or via live chat on the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk