Manchester woman convicted of running illegal money lending business
A woman from Hulme in Manchester has been convicted of 16 counts of illegal money lending and Money Laundering following an 18 day trial at Manchester Crown Court (Crown Square)
Sandra Dawn Lowe, 50 was arrested in July 2012, after the England Illegal Money Lending Team, who work in partnership with Manchester City Council executed a warrant at her home on Arnott Crescent seizing documentation and almost £800 in cash. She had been running the illegal business for more than seven years.
She has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on Monday 3rd March 2014.
Councillor Kate Chappell, Executive Member for the Environment, Manchester City Council said: "Loan sharks are ruthless criminals who target some of the most vulnerable members of society and exploit the fact that the economic downturn has left many people struggling to make ends meet.
"But the days when loan sharks could expect to get away with causing misery are over, and the illegal money lending team is working closely with the police and council to bring these people to justice, as today's outcome demonstrates. I'd urge anyone with information about loan sharks operating in the city's neighbourhoods to call the team's confidential hotline, while anyone who needs to borrow money should contact one of the many credit unions which work in the city."
Nationally the Stop Loan Shark Project has secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 victims.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject
For more information contact Sarah-Jane Lynch, Illegal Money Lending Team communications officer, on 0121 693 1030 or 07881617119 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To speak to the National Trading Standards Board with a more general enquiry please contact the Trading Standards Institute press office on 0845 6089430 or email@example.com
Notes to editors
The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards.
NTSB provides leadership influence, support and resources to help combat consumer and business detriment locally, regionally and nationally.
The Stop Loan Sharks Project consists of three Illegal money lending teams in England, Scotland and Wales. The NTSB has responsibility for the England and Wales Illegal Money Lending Teams that are hosted by Birmingham City Council and Cardiff Council. There are separate arrangements in place in Scotland.
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 300 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 190 years-worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £42 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 23,000 people.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.