September 20 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
A couple who operated a “sophisticated” loan shark business which took advantage of “vulnerable” borrowers were imprisoned for 14 months at Snaresbrook Crown Court this week.
German Alcomendas, 55, and Elisa Alcomendas, 56, of South Park Road, Ilford, both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on June 2 to seven offences of illegal money lending.
In the period from December 2007 to November 2013 more than £300,000 was lent to 43 borrowers by the couple.
Most of the victims came from the hospital where German worked as a nurse.
One stated that at first he believed German was helping his family but quickly realised that the couple were only interested in making as much money as possible.
None had any paperwork relating to their loans.
One victim paid back nearly £11,000 from an initial £6,000 which they had borrowed to visit their mother in the Philippines.
Other victims borrowed the money to send home to fund treatments for ill relatives in the Philippines.
In court, Simon Mortimer, prosecuting, said: “The system engaged by the couple meant that between five and 10 per cent would have to be paid each month on a capital sum that never reduced.
“In essence, many customers make repayments of more than double the amount loaned and still owed the original sum to the Alcomendas.”
The investigation and prosecution was led by the England Illegal Money Lending Team working in partnership with Redbridge Trading Standards.
Tom Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money team, said: “We are continuing to crack down on illegal money lending and bring offenders like the Alcomendas couple to justice.
“It is important to remember that loan sharks are only motivated by greed so should never be used.”
To report a loan shark call confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A car fire on the A406 in Ilford caused hours of disruption on the roads this morning.