A BROMSGROVE loan shark who made £200,000 out of his victims must pay back every penny in just three months or face two-and-a-half years behind bars.
Kevin John Donaghey, of Lickey End, made the staggering amount from his illegal money lending business which ran for more than four-and-a-half-years.
His antics were uncovered after an investigation by the England Illegal
Money Lending Team, which was working with Worcestershire Trading Standards and West Mercia Police.
In 2014, Donaghey was convicted at Worcester Crown Court of five counts of illegal money lending and was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also handed 200 hours of unpaid work to do.
Donaghey’s assets consisted of equity in two residential properties, money held in bank accounts and cash seized from him at the time of his arrest.
He was arrested in October 2013 when officers from the illegal money lending team executed a warrant at his Lickey End home.
During their search, they found notebooks detailing the illegal business and nearly £1,700 in cash. The documents showed Donaghey had been running the business since February 2009. During that time, without the Office of Fair Trading Licence needed to lend money, he gave out over 500 loans, totalling £170,000 to his customers.
One victim who had a loan from Donaghey could not afford to keep up repayments and Donaghey turned up at his place of work shouting and swearing. The victim said Donaghey had made his life ‘a living hell’.
Another victim who borrowed £5,000 was told he needed to give his driving licence and passport as security for the loan. He didn’t receive any documentation regarding the loan. The victim had to pay £1,000-a-month in interest until he could afford to pay the £5,000 loan back in one lump sum. By the date of the warrant this victim had paid back £7,000 in interest alone. Following Tuesday’s ruling, Coun Bronwen Behan, Chair of the Worcestershire Regulatory Services Joint Committee said: “We need to protect our residents, particularly those who are vulnerable and this case demonstrates that we will not tolerate loan sharks.”
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: “This sends a clear message that illegal money lending will not be tolerated and that those convicted will have their ill-gotten gains taken away from them.”
He urged anyone who had fallen victim to loan sharks to call the illegal money lending team on 0300 555 2222 so the perpetrators could be brought to justice.