News Column

Crime: Loan sharks: 'Don't feed your kids - pay me'

January 25, 2014

James Meikle

Joseph Kiely made pounds 3.6m from illegal loans to 1,200 people in Manchester. He was jailed for five years in 2009 for blackmail, acquiring and converting criminal property, illegal moneylending and failing to provide information to the Office of Fair Trading . Between 2003 and 2007, his illegal moneylending business had a turnover of almost pounds 3m with interest rates of 433% to 2,437% APR. A hearing in 2010 confiscated assets of pounds 1.2m. Paul Nicholson swindled millions from people in Cheshire and in 2009 was convicted of rape, blackmail, illegal moneylending and laundering. He was given at least six and a half years in prison. He made pounds 2.7m and in 2010 was ordered to surrender almost pounds 1m of assets including a mansion in Delamere, Cheshire, a villa in Spain, pounds 26,000 of cash found in his house, his Porsche , horses, quad bikes and jewellery. One victim killed himself after a loan of pounds 300 soared to pounds 3,000 in 12 weeks. Nicholson made one woman perform oral sex on him, threatened to petrol-bomb another's house and told one distraught debtor: "Your priority is to pay me, not feed your kids." John Radford , below, once a licensed lender, was jailed for 30 months in Chester. Two associates were jailed for 10 months. Police found machetes, knuckledusters, pepper spray and pounds 17,000 in Radford's home. When they were arrested, the trio were due pounds 420,000. One victim paid back three times the initial loan, eventually owing pounds 13,000. Radford had 17 other properties, nine vehicles and pounds 775,000 in accounts despite declaring less than pounds 250,000 income since 2003.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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