A LOAN SHARK, who lent money illegally to members of the Filipino community for more than thirteen years, has been sentenced.
Appearing in Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday (23, May) Edna Lavente Deriada, 63, of Ingram Avenue in Barnet was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for 2 years and was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
The defendant was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) who work in partnership with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), London Borough of Barnet Trading Standards and the Metropolitan Police Service.
When a warrant was executed at Ms Deriada’s home address back in December 2015, officers from the IMLT seized a number of documents relating to the illegal lending of money. These included several diaries, which Ms Deriada largely kept most of her records in.
On behalf of the prosecution, Craig Evans told the court how the loan shark was lending money without a license between 26th March 2002 and 25th November 2015. Loans were often made to members of the Filipino community.
Mr Evans said how the typical loan amount was for £500, with repayments totalling £650.
The court also heard how introductions to clients would often be made through word of mouth. When loans were issued, victims were not provided with any documentation.
Financial examinations led by the IMLT revealed that the loan shark had provided more than 100 loans to over 50 separate individuals.
The court heard how the majority of the activity took place mainly between March 2014 and November 2015.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“This result sends a clear message that loan sharks will not be tolerated in our local communities and will be prosecuted.
“Loan sharks can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communities. We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled by a trained IMLT officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA said:
“The FCA will continue to work with the Illegal Money Lending Teams to ensure individuals that flout the law are investigated and brought to justice.”
Upon sentencing Ms Deriada, HHJ Korner Q.C. said:
“The business of unauthorised money lending is taken extremely seriously by the courts. There are a number of reasons for that, but the main one is that you are exploiting financially vulnerable people and because it is unlicensed, they have no recourse whatsoever.”
HHJ Korner Q.C further went on to say ‘you did this out of greed’
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject