Aidan Wheller

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Aidan Wheller
LIAISE OFFICER
England Illegal Money Lending Team
The definition of a Loan Shark
Someone who lends money as a business
(to two or more people) without having
the necessary licence:
Typical characteristics
• No credit agreements given
• No receipts for payment or payment
books
• Most payments are cash and weekly
• Violence and/or intimidation - threats
• May suggest payments in kind to
themselves or others
• Often work alone or have a tight group
of collectors
….Typical characteristics
• Can take illegal securities e.g. cash card
• Never advertise – incentives for introducing a
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friend
Communicate mainly in person or via text
Repayments of at least twice the amount
borrowed
May encourage the use of legal credit options to
pay towards the debt e.g. credit union or crisis
loan
Victims are not
aware of the
law regarding
money lending
Loan Sharks
target
the most
vulnerable
The offence of
unlicensed money lending
may not show true
Extent of criminal
activity
Challenges
People are
reluctant to
complain through
peer pressure
Other agencies
are not aware
of the law regarding
money lending
People may have
extended family
in area
Victims feel morally
obligated to pay back
The money they
borrowed
Addressing the issues
• Using the full weight of
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•
the legislation available:
Consumer Credit Act
1974.
Proceeds of Crime Act
2002.
Theft Act 1968 –
Demanding money with
menaces / Blackmail.
Injunctions and anti
social behaviour Orders.
MM
• Ex British Commonwealth boxing champion (Mike
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Armstrong)
Business premises in Gym in Salford
Advertised in MEN/Local free papers as MAM
finance
Pleaded guilty to 3 Blackmail, 7 Criminal damage,
1 Affray and one Illegal lending
Given 4 year sentence
900 victims across Greater Manchester
Judge remarked ‘Attempted murder of the soul’
“Blair's illill-gotten gains are
being ploughed back into
the community he preyed
on”
79 new savings accounts
opened
POCA – Play
– “A Loan”
Looking forward…….Our Offer to
Partners
• Enhanced Training
• Events
• Action Plans
• Publicity and Promotion
• Community development model
• Campaign Partner
• Community Advocates
Key Stats
• Identified over 2,000 illegal lenders
• Arrested over 525 illegal money lenders (loan sharks)
• Written off over £40.3 million of illegal debts (money victims
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would have paid back to illegal lenders if the Department had
not acted)
Secured over 235 prosecutions, resulting in prison sentencing
totaling over 157 years and one indefinite sentence
Helped over 20,000 victims of loan sharks including the most
hard to reach individuals
Seized over £1.5 million in cash
Over £27 million of assets are being investigated (under
POCA) with the intention of removing these from illegal lender
Referred over 750 victims to alternate (legal) sources of
financial support
Trained over 10,000 front line staff
Do you know a victim?
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Owe money to a friend?
No paperwork?
Loan that just keeps growing?
What you can do:
– Pass the intelligence to us
– Support the individual to talk to us
– Arrange a meeting with a LIAISE Officer for a discussion about
what support is available
• Every piece of information can help
• Anonymity, confidentiality, third party reporting, what if?
0300 555 2222
Text: loan shark + your message to 60003
[email protected]
www.direct.gov.uk/stoploansharks
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