News item

Suspected loan shark to appear in court

52 year old man from Hartlepool has been charged with illegal money lending, money laundering, blackmail, attempted grevious bodily harm and criminal damage, following an investigation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

The suspect was arrested in January this year after the Team working in partnership with Hartlepool Borough Council and assisted by Cleveland Police executed a warrant at his home. During the search they seized documentary evidence.

He is due to make his first appearance at Hartlepool Magistrates Court at 10am on Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 310 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 200 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off almost £55 million worth of illegal debt and helped nearly 24,000 victims.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 

Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003 

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk 

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

***ENDS***

For more information contact Cath Wohlers, LIAISE Manager on 07500 809339 or email Catherine.wohlers@birmingham.gov.uk. To speak to the National Trading Standards Board with a more general enquiry please call 020 7025 7570 or e-mail nationaltradingstandards@grayling.com. 

Notes to editors

The National Trading Standards Board 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. 

The National Trading Standards Board 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 National Trading Standards Board 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 310 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 200 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £55 million worth of illegal debt and helped nearly 24,000 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. 

DATE: 19 June 2014