Harold Hill loan shark ordered to pay back £450,000 of his ill-gotten gains
PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 February 2018
A loan shark who cheated healthcare workers out of thousands of pounds has been ordered to pay back almost £500,000 in proceeds of crime.
Ho ming Ngan, 67 of Bedale Road, Harold Hill, received a two year suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering offences in March, 2016.
At a confiscation hearing on Thursday, February 22, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Ngan was ordered to pay £450,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
He has two months to pay the full amount or he will face four and a half years in prison.
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) brought the case against Ngan after officers, working in partnership with the London Borough of Havering Trading Standards and the police executed a warrant at his home address on December 8, 2015.
A financial investigation into Ngan’s illegal activities revealed that he was charging victims up to 50pc interest on loans and adding penalty surcharges for late and missed payments.
Tony Quigley, head of the England IMLT said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act ensures that loan sharks like Ngan are not profiting from deceitful illegal money lending activity.
“This result sends out a clear message that loan sharks who are caught flouting the law will be prosecuted and stripped of their available assets.”
During a search of the defendant’s home, officers seized paperwork which indicated that Mr Ngan was conducting an unlicensed money lending business and had issued over 60 loans.
At a sentence hearing, prosecution Simon Mortimer told the court that Ngan had been running an illegal money lending business for more than five years.
The prosecution added that the loan shark would visit borrowers’ homes and take photocopies of their personal documents including wage slips, utility bills and driving licences as a form of security on the loans.
One victim was put under extreme pressure by the loan shark to sell his house to clear his £13,000 debt.
If you have been the victim of a loan shark, the IMLT encourages you to get in touch at 0300 555 2222.