A loan shark from Cullercoats has been ordered to pay back thousands in proceeds of crime monies.
Bubpha Curran, of Longston Avenue, has been given three months to pay back more than £28,000 in proceeds of crime following a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court – or face a default sentence of 10 months in prison.
In February, the 47-year-old received a 12-month suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering between March 2012 and February 2016.
Curran was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).
At an earlier hearing, prosecutor Simon Mortimer told the court how Bubpha Curran had been running an illegal money-lending business for a period of almost four years, with one victim making monthly interest repayments of £400 on a £4,000 loan to pay hospital fees back in Thailand.
Tony Quigley, head of service for the IMLT, said: “Another loan shark has been ordered to pay back for the crime they once committed.
“We are continuing to crackdown on illegal money lending and bringing those who break the law to justice.
“It’s important to remember loan sharks are only motivated by greed and should never been used.”
“If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. Your call will be handled confidentially by one of our trained officers.”
Coun John Harrison, cabinet member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “Loan sharks are predators who feed off people’s desperation and exploit some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“This result shows what can be achieved when agencies work closely together and it strikes a blow against illegal money lending in our area.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 378 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 325 years’ worth of custodial sentences.
They have written off £71.9million worth of illegal debt and helped more than 26,500 people.