Stockton couple plead guilty to running illegal money-lending business
A PENSIONER couple admitted to running an illegal money-lending business.
Stockton’s husband and wife Alan Fromson, 80, and Joyce Fromson, 78, appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to lending illegal money between July 2007 and October 2019.
The pair were investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) working in partnership with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Trading Standards and Cleveland Police.
Specialist officers executed a search warrant at the couple’s home in Green Leas, Carlton last October and recovered a large quantity of documents and electronic devices.
They admitted illegally engaging in the activities of a licensed consumer credit business and lending money when they were not authorized.
They will be sentenced on November 17 at Teesside Crown Court.
Tony Quigley, head of the illegal money lending team in England, said: “We are committed to doing everything possible to eradicate loan sharks in Teesside.
“Authors must realize that this type of activity will not be tolerated and that by working with our partners we will do everything in our power to ensure that those involved are brought to justice.
“We urge anyone who is aware of any illegal money lending activity to confidently call us on 0300 555 2222 so that we can take action. Our lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous ”
IMLT has launched a new smartphone app to make it faster and easier for people to report loan sharks and access support services.
The Stop Loan Sharks app includes a contact form and phone number to report loan sharks, as well as information to help victims of illegal cash loans get help.
It also offers users advice on tell-tale signs that someone is a loan shark. These include offering cash loans without any paperwork, charging exorbitant interest, using perks or bank cards as collateral, and threatening behavior or violence to get money.
The IMLT has obtained more than 400 lawsuits for illegal money lending and related activities, leading to jail terms of 586 years. They wrote off £ 83 million in illegal debt and helped over 30,000 people.
Anyone needing assistance can get in touch via the Stop Loan Sharks live chat at www.stoploansharks.co.uk or by calling the 24-hour helpline on 0300 555 2222.