Lancashire

Father and son loan sharks from Preston jailed

A father and son from Preston who ran illegal money lending and gambling businesses have been jailed.

James Alston, 74, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and his son James Alston, 45, sent to jail for 12 months at Preston Crown Court.

The pair denied illegal money lending, money laundering and possessing criminal property from proceeds of acting as an unlicensed bookmaker.

Head of England Illegal Money Lending Team said it showed a clear message.

'Alternative credit'

The court heard Alston senior operated as a loan shark for six years while Alston junior for two years and they lent money to friends then charged steep amounts of interest.

One victim, who borrowed £1,000, was told he was to pay back £1,500 in three monthly instalments, the court was told.

The pair were prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, the Gambling Commission and Lancashire Trading Standards.

Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, Tony Quigley, said: "This sends a clear message that loan sharking and other related criminal activity will not be tolerated."

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