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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbrian loan shark must pay back £50k or face prison term

A loan shark must pay back more than £50,000 or face 18 months in prison.

Related: Cumbrian loan shark who made £36,000 from money lending avoids jail

Paul Gilpin appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today for a Proceeds of Crime hearing.

Gilpin, of Thorny Road, Thornhill, near Egremont, ran his business for nearly eight years, netting about £100 a week on top of his regular wages from his job in the construction industry.

He had more than 40 customers, to whom he lent relatively small amounts of money, usually for short periods of time.

The loans - some charged at 70 per cent - enabled him to buy two houses.

The court was told Gilpin's realisable assets amounted to £50,543.11.

Last year Gilpin was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours' unpaid work in the community after he pleaded guilty to carrying on a consumer credit business without the necessary licence and laundering the money he made from it.

Gilpin must pay the money by October 1.

The prosecution was brought by Birmingham Trading Standards.

After the hearing, Angela Jones, Trading Standards service manager at Cumbria County Council, said: "This result is great news for Cumbria Trading Standards and the Illegal Money Lending team, we hope that this will send a stark warning to those engaged in illegal money lending that we will do all we can to tackle this despicable crime.

"We will continue to work in partnership to target loan sharks operating in our communities and prevent the most vulnerable from being trapped in debt and misery to unlicensed lenders."

And Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “Loan sharks are motivated purely by greed.

"They do not offer a community service and cause nothing but misery. Through proceeds of crime legislation we are able to hit illegal money lenders where it hurts, preventing them from profiting through crime.

"Today’s result sends a clear message that we will tackle this crime and strip offenders of their ill-gotten gains."

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