West Lynn women operated as loan sharks
TWO women, who had more than 65 people on their books, have admitted operating as loan sharks.
Marie Bailey, 43, and Michelle Bailey, 44, both of Foxes Lane, West Lynn, originally denied running a consumer credit agency without a licence but changed their pleas at Norwich Crown Court this week just before a 16-week trial was due to get under way.
The pair’s homes were raided in November 2009 and documentation including loan books, detailing names of 67 individuals along with the loans given and repayments, was uncovered.
The investigation was led by England Illegal Money Lending Team, part of Norfolk County Council working in partnership with Norfolk Police.
Harry Humphrey, county council cabinet member for community protection, said loan sharks were “loathsome individuals” who cause misery.
He said: “In the current economic situation more people are turning to illegal money lenders in a bid to ease their problems, but it only makes things worse.
“Victims are not only charged extortionate rates of interest but very often face violence, intimidation or blackmail if they fall behind with their payments.”
The pair are due to be sentenced in Norwich on Tuesday, May 22.
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