Loan shark ordered to pay more than £16,000

A Staffordshire loan shark who was jailed for four and a half years has now been told he must pay more than £16,000.

Mantas Daujotas aged 39, from Burton upon Trent, ran an illegal lending operation with at least 260 customers. He was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court last June after admitting illegal lending, money laundering and unlawful possession of identity documents.

His case was back before the court this week (TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2024) when a confiscation order was made for £16,333 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The court heard that figure was the amount of realisable assets available.

Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, which investigated and prosecuted Daujotas, said: “We are pleased that this lender has been ordered to pay at least some of his ill-gotten gains back to the court.

“This was a complex case which involved extraditing Daujotas from Lithuania to face charges, but it demonstrates our determination to ensure that these criminals face justice. Our work continues after prosecution to make sure that they do not continue to benefit from their actions.”

The court last year heard Daujotas left the country after his arrest and the IMLT worked in partnership with Staffordshire Police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure he was forced to return to face justice.

Daujotas, who kept detailed records of loans and repayments on an electronic device, had previously worked for a legal credit business, but had no licence to lend himself.

He was found to be in possession of over 80 documents belonging to other people. These were mainly passports and identity documents but included bank cards and driving licences, kept as security until the loan was paid off.

He was sentenced to 45 months in jail for money laundering, with a 12-month sentence for illegal money lending to run concurrently, an eight-month sentence for possessing identity documents that did not belong to him to run consecutively and a consecutive one-month sentence for the bail offence.

He now has three months to make the payment.

The confiscation order comes during Stop Loan Sharks Week 2024 (May 13 to 19), which has the theme No Blame, No Shame. Sometimes borrowers are afraid to speak out because they feel ashamed or that they have done something wrong. This is not the case, the lender is the criminal and the Stop Loan Sharks Team works with borrowers to support them through the court process.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the IMLT. Since its launch, it has supported over 31,500 people and written off over £91.2 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 420 prosecutions for illegal money lending, leading to more than 600 years in jail.

Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.