9:15 AM, 15th August 2011, About 12 years ago
Loan shark Derrick Morgan, of Neath, South Wales, was jailed for a year after admitting six charges of illegal money lending and dishonestly claiming benefits in the names of his tenants at Swansea Crown Court.
Morgan let 23 properties and moved in tenants who could not afford to pay a deposit. He then loaned them the £350 cash repayable at £30 a week for a year.
He collected £1,560 for the £350 loan – with the interest adding up to 5,682.8% APR.
Morgan would also take benefit cards from his tenants as security and control their bank accounts, arranging for benefits to be paid in to their banks.
Steven Hay, of Wales Illegal Money Lending Unit, who investigated the case, said: “Derrick Morgan used threats and intimidation to control his victims, his actions were despicable and caused great upset and harm to his victims. Loan sharks prey on the vulnerable in our communities.”
Musician Charlie Flynn had to leap for his life from a third floor attic bedroom as flames engulfed a death-trap shared house he shared with five other tenants in Epsom, Surrey.
Epsom and Ewell Council had already ordered the owners to move tenants out of the attic because of fire risks when a faulty heater set off the blaze.
Brother and sister landlords Michael and Rosanna Ciesco were ordered to pay fines and costs of £22,750 at Redhill Magistrates Court for breaching council prohibition orders and house in multiple occupation licensing offences.
Environmental health officer Fergus Nash told the court: “The Ciescos blatantly disregarded a law designed to protect their tenants and their property from the devastating effects of fire.”
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