A convicted loan shark has been ordered to pay back all of his available assets to the courts, following a financial investigation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.
39 year old Paul Gilpin, from Egremont in Cumbria had assets amounting to £50,543.11 He must pay back this amount or face 18 months in prison.
Gilpin was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team and Cumbria Constabulary, working in partnership with Cumbria County Council.
He previously pleaded guilty to offences for illegal money lending and money laundering, and in November last year was sentenced to a nine month custodial sentence on each count, suspended for 24 months, plus a 250 hour community service order.
At today’s hearing Simon Mortimer on behalf of the prosecution told Carlisle Crown Court, how Gilpin made a total of £256,170.11 over a period of six years through the illegal money lending business he ran from his home in Thorny Road.
His assets included the value of his home, £3850 in cash which was seized by England Illegal Money Lending Team investigators and approximately £9000 in bank accounts.
At sentencing the court heard how the investigation uncovered around 44 ‘victims’ borrowing varied amounts with varied interest, from a small loan of £30 to which £10 would be added as interest to a larger loan of £700 to which £400 would be added as interest.
Some borrowers handed over their bank cards and PIN’s to Gilpin so he could withdraw directly from their accounts.
By his own admission, Gilpin knew he needed a licence to lend money legally but decided not to get one.
Angela Jones, Trading Standards Service Manager at Cumbria County Council said:
Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said
DC Welch of Cumbria Police said :
Nationally over 210 prosecutions have been secured for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to 125 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off almost £40million worth of illegal debt and helped over 18,000 victims.
The full report from ITV's Lookaround follows: