Ian Parsons, 27 of Lakeside Rise, Blackley, Christopher Weaver, 36, of Maybury Street, Gorton, and Mark Weaver, 35, were arrested as part of a multi agency operation.
A gang of loan sharks have pleaded guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
Ian Parsons, 27 of Lakeside Rise, Blackley, Christopher Weaver, 36, of Maybury Street,Gorton, and Mark Weaver, 35, were arrested as part of a multi agency operation.
The trio were investigated and prosecuted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, in partnership with Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council, after information came to light about their illegal business. Warrants were executed in December and May, and documentary evidence was uncovered.
Parsons pleaded guilty to three counts of illegal money lending and two counts of money laundering. Christopher Weaver pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal money lending and two counts of money laundering, and Mark Weaver, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of illegal money lending and one count of money laundering.
They all remain in custody, awaiting sentencing at Manchester Crown Court.
Director of the England Illegal Money Lending Team Jacqui Kennedy said: “Loan sharks are criminals who extort and exploit the public.
“Whilst they appear to be offering a community service they are not, and will leave people living each day in misery and fear.
“We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour, and working with the police, trading standards and other agencies we are cracking down on this crime, making it impossible for loan sharks to prosper.”
Nationally the Stop Loan Shark Project has secured 235 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to more than 157 years worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £40.3 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 20,000 victims.
Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, councillor Nigel Murphy, said: “Loan sharks are ruthless criminals who target some of the most vulnerable members of society and exploit the fact that the economic downturn has left many people struggling to make ends meet.
“But the days when loan sharks could expect to get away with causing misery are over, and these three are just the latest to be found guilty of this heinous crime.
“The illegal money lending team is working day and night to send these people where they belong – to prison – and I’d urge anyone with information about loan sharks to call their confidential hotline, while anyone who needs to borrow money should contact one of the many credit unions which work in the city.”