Croydon loan shark jailed for eight months for illegal lending
A LOAN shark who ripped off more than 80 people has been jailed for eight months at Croydon Crown Court.
Stephen Chapman, 47, of Gorse Road, Shirley, had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to eight charges of illegal money lending.
He was arrested in August last year after a joint operation between the England Illegal Money Lending Team and Croydon Council trading standards officers.
Officers from the Illegal Money Lending Team who searched Chapman's home at the time of his arrest discovered £1,500 in cash along with notebooks and other documentation listing names of clients, amounts loaned and interest paid.
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Some of the loan books dated back to January 2005 and officers discovered that Chapman had lent almost £137,000 to 86 people through 144 loans.
He claimed a return through interest of more than £220,000.
The officers found that loans were usually for small amounts,
A financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime legislation is continuing.
Chapman has already served much of his sentence, having been remanded in custody since September for breaching his bail conditions.