How come it’s a crime to lend money at lower rates than the sharks?

TAP – This guy was helping people who can’t get loans elsewhere, and was not charging the high rates seen from payday loan sharks.  The relationships were all based on knowledge and trust.  The problem is for banks who don’t want the competition.  This is no crime.  He was just doing what credit cards do without inflicting the fear people suffer when they borrow from institutions.  As usual they prosecute the harmless version of the activity, and leave the real criminals well alone.

The toothless loan shark: Market trader who ran illegal debt racket from his fruit and veg stall is spared jail because interest rates were 100 times LOWER than payday lenders 

  • Stephen Fossey, 45, charged customers between 25% and 30% interest
  • In contrast, payday lenders charge up to 4000%
  • The illegal loans racket turned over £140,000 in a 13-month period
  • Judge says: ‘It seems nobody was frightened of you’
  • There was no late payment charge and no violence was threatened
  • Fossey is given a suspended prison sentence and told to do unpaid work
PUBLISHED: 15:06, 21 May 2013 UPDATED: 17:06, 21 May 2013


Loan shark: Stephen Fossey, 45, who ran an illegal money lending business from Bacup market today avoided a jail sentence after a court heard he scared no one

Loan shark: Stephen Fossey, 45, who ran an illegal money lending business from Bacup market today avoided a jail sentence after a court heard he scared no one
A market trader who ran an illegal lending racket from his fruit and veg stall has avoided jail after a court heard his interest rates were over 100 times lower than licensed payday loan firms.
Stephen Fossey, 45, used his pitch at Bacup market, Lancashire, to give credit to up to 180 customers over a four-year period.
He typically charged between 25 and 30 per cent interest on loans – compared with online credit firms who have been known to charge up to 4000 per cent on repayments.
Fossey was caught after investigators from the England Illegal Money Lending Team were tipped off by trading standards officers who were investigating a black market tobacco racket he was running.
The father-of-three set up the £140,000 loans racket as a means to save money for his retirement but he has since been expelled from the market.
Today at Burnley Crown Court, Fossey of Rossendale admitted engaging in a money lending operation, without a licence under the Consumer Credit Act, and two allegations of possessing criminal property.
But he was given a suspended prison term after a judge said customers ‘spoke highly’ of Fossey and he had not intimidated any of them.
Fossey’s defence lawyer Mark Stuart said: ‘There is no suggestion any sort of pressure was put upon people to repay.
‘He was charging far less a rate of interest than those of licensed money lenders. This was going to be a pot for him, having had no pension for his retirement. He has now lost £100,000 that was owed to him.’
Fossey first agreed to lend money to customers while doing his fruit and veg rounds in Burnley, Rossendale and nearby Todmorden.
His home was searched on May 29 last year by Trading Standards officers who found a carrier bag under his bed containing two bags of money, totalling £7,164, and documentation, in particular two notebooks, an address book and a black pad.
Also seized was a handwritten letter addressed to ‘Steve’ and ‘Phil’ from one of those who had borrowed money.
    The notebooks were effectively records of loans Fossey had provided over the previous 13 months.
    Over that period alone there had been 196 loan accounts between the defendant and borrowers. 
    Sentenced: Fossey, a father-of-three, set up the £140,000 loans racket as a means to save money for his retirement but he has since been expelled from the market
    Sentenced: Fossey, a father-of-three, set up the £140,000 loans racket as a means to save money for his retirement but he has since been expelled from the market
    Over 100 people had an account, some had more than one and 449 loans had been issued, including top-ups. The amount of repayment received over the period was £139,579 and the outstanding balance owed to the defendant was £93,918.
    Prosecutors said the operation was a ‘substantial illegal business.’ The majority of the accounts required repayment of £20 a week, but one person was paying back at £400 a month.
    Prosecutor David Hercock said: ‘The prosecution’s position is that the interest charged, 25 to 30 per cent, while it could not be described as exorbitant or grossly excessive, is nevertheless high. People who borrowed were in a continued cycle of borrowing from him.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328426/The-toothless-loan-shark-Market-trader-ran-illegal-lending-racket-fruit-veg-stall-spared-jail-rates-100-times-LOWER-high-street-firms.html#ixzz2TzY1vWp8
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    10 Responses to “How come it’s a crime to lend money at lower rates than the sharks?”

    1. Anonymous says:

      You can tell companies like Wonga are doing well. The increased amount of their advertisements on the radio says it all. Profitting from other peoples’ hardship and misery. Have they no shame.

    2. Tapestry says:

      I’d prefer to borrow from a local man in the market who’s trusted and doesn’t do ‘small print’, than deal with the impersonal organisations all owned by the same system that caused the financial crash in the first place.

    3. Tapestry says:

      There should be more like him, and the rates would fall. They don’t want a free market. Lending should not be illegal. Extortionate terms and rates of interest should be illegal. That’s all. Lending is a helpful service.

    4. Paul says:

      So i assume they will go after all these pay day sharks… not.

      Looks like this man found a legit gap in the market and went into business. He never used violence or threats, unlike the banks and banksters, who are holding this country hostage in one of the greatest thefts of wealth from people of all time.

    5. Anonymous says:

      He should have funded his local political Party – it works for Wonga.
      Look at the obstacles the FSA put before ‘The Bank of Dave’ (Fishwick).
      The Banks and the government are one corporation and they won’t tolerate competition.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Tap, desperate times means desperate measures. This is what the ‘legal’ loan sharks are currently monopolizing on. The whole financial/monetary was designed to fail, remember.

    7. Anonymous says:

      ^ *system. Sorry, posting on a phone due to my internet connection being down.

    8. Anonymous says:

      as usual the innovators and those with some shred of decency and integrity have to be taken down and made an example of. I can only hope this guy can bounce back AND as a result of his actions which i totally respect and commend, i hope there will soon be thousands of imitators. If this builds and builds what is the government going to do about it?
      It’s time for all ordinary people to “close ranks” and develop secret networks of collaboration to enable precisely what this man has done. He needs to made aware he is a hero and an example to us all. reiverdave dt

    9. Anonymous says:

      people don’t know the full story, like th 4 houses he owns (all in family members names), the bmw x5, all paid with cash, the ex local authority houses he will “inherit” from elderly people who he has loaned money too. and the fake, often poisenous, vodka and illegal cigarettes he sells, behind all this is organised crime. he got off very lightly.

    10. Tapestry says:

      So it’s a crime to own a car. Great.

      You can do deals on property to lend against ownership after death. In France it is the norm.

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