Liverpool man sentenced for illegal money lending racket  

A Liverpool man who illegally lent money to vulnerable people has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Alan Hayden, 52, from the West Derby area of Liverpool, admitted running an unlawful money lending business and was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court on 4th July 2023.

The case was prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), in partnership with Liverpool City Council Trading Standards and Merseyside Police.

The court heard how Hayden had been running his illegal money lending scheme between2021 and 2022.

In order for a loans business to operate legally they need to have permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and conduct their service in a fit and proper way.

Historically, Hayden ran a legitimate, authorised credit business but in 2021, the FCA revoked his permission, meaning the company should have ceased training.

Hayden charged at least 100% interest on short term loans and lent to some very vulnerable people. The court heard from some of Hayden’s borrowers who said “he didn’t care how we got it he wanted paying” and described him as a Jekyll and Hyde character who “has this habit of sucking you in”. They described how he threatened to take a taxi driver off the road and how, when they started to struggle with repayments they “saw the other side of Mr Hayden”.

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

“This is a great result for the victims who came forward and it should give communities in Liverpool the confidence that we will help and continue to bring these loan sharks to justice.

“We would encourage anyone with information about illegal money lending activity to speak to us via the confidential hotline, so we can take action and remove unscrupulous lenders from our communities.”

“Our team are determined to make sure these offenders are caught and will continue to protect our residents.”

“Anyone with concerns about illegal money lending can contact the Illegal Money Lending Team 24/7 Helpline in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.”

Sentencing Hayden, HHJ Byrne rejected the evidence from the defendant and his “relaxed attitude” to loan collection.  HHJ Byrne stated the defendant carried on full well knowing his licence had been withdrawn and that the licensing regime exists to protect consumers from unscrupulous people.