Date Posted: 24-08-2015
A despicable pair of loan sharks have been jailed for charging up to 5,000% interest and even marched one elderly couple to a cash point at midnight to get £140 of their £141 pension.
A couple who provided cash loans for struggling families and elderly members of the community and then forced them to pay 5,000 per cent interest have been jailed, for 12 months each.
Elizabeth Powell and boyfriend Paul Bow targeted residents struggling to get together enough money to buy food. They forced one elderly couple to go to a cash point at midnight and told them to draw out £140 of their £141 pension.
Powell, 48, and Bow, 51, admitted illegal money lending over four years and were jailed for 12 months each last Monday.
The judge, Richard Twomlow described the couple as 'ruthless'. He said: 'You used the pretext of being friends to extort money. 'You charged extortionate interest and used bullying and intimidating tactics to ensure the cycle of loansharking would continue.
'It was a prolonged and calculated offence quite ruthlessly carried out. You exploited vulnerable people through your greed with no regard to them.'
Stephen Grey, Investigations Manager for the Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, said: 'This is a particularly nasty case where a poor vulnerable family were targeted by two ruthless loan sharks.
'The interest rate was, what is called "double bubble". If a payment was missed the total amount for that particular loan would double again.
'The debt spiralled and the situation only became known to us when the victims were nearly evicted and made homeless. The acts of Bow and Powell were despicable.'
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