Beds, Herts & Bucks

Cheshunt money lender sentenced for illegal loans

A Hertfordshire money lender who gave out illegal loans for five years has been given a suspended jail sentence.

At St Albans Crown Court, Maurice Saggers, 53, of Sexton Close, Cheshunt, admitted running an unlicensed business and possessing criminal property.

Prosecutor Simon Mortimer said Saggers had given 330 loans to 35 people at rates of between 196% and 353%. His repayments totalled £190,298.

Saggers's nine-month prison sentence was suspended for two years.

Police and Trading Standards officers raided his home after an investigation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

They seized documents, including cash books, which showed he had been making illegal loans between September 2004 and January last year.

His accounts were frozen and £34,323 was seized from him.

'No heavy-handedness'

Martyn Levett, defending, said Saggers was the sole-carer for his two parents, who are terminally ill and in their 80s, and had suffered a heart attack in 2009.

He added: "All the persons who borrowed money were unable to obtain credit from licensed brokers or had chosen to use my client because his rates were far cheaper."

Judge Stephen Gullick told Saggers: "You knew perfectly well what you were doing.

"Fortunately in your case there is no evidence of the use of threats, violence or heavy-handedness."

Saggers was also given a four-month nightly curfew and a confiscation order was made for the £34,323 seized by police.

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