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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:58 pm 
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plymouth story

A loan shark who lent money to taxi drivers at huge rates of interest has blown almost £400,000 of his ill-gotten gains.

Mark Constantine, aged 56, was only left with £20,000 from four years of dodgy deals with desperate drivers, a court heard.

A judge has ordered him to hand over the money or face nine months in prison.

Constantine charged an average of more than 100 per cent interest, Plymouth Crown Court heard in May last year.

The former motor dealer arranged 70 deals with dozens of cabbies desperate for help.

He was unlicensed and unregulated and used what a judge called “an element of pressure” to make sure he was paid.

He took spare car keys from clients and even an electricity payment card from one customer as collateral. Constantine walked free from court with a suspended prison sentence.

Prosecutors at the Illegal Money Lending Team launched legal action under the Proceeds of Crime Act to identify and seize assets.

Constantine was hauled back to court.

Stuart Jessop, prosecuting, said it had been agreed that Constantine made £400,000 up until 2015.

But his assets, made up of cash in bank accounts, amounted to just £20,000. It is understood Constantine has no stake in property.

Financial investigators have spent two years looking for the cash, but it appears Constantine has simply spent it.

The court heard in May last year an example of a loan where a driver borrowed £3,000 and had to pay back £5,000 in interest. Drivers who had trouble getting regular finance typically had to repay £100 a week.

Constantine, of Higher Stert Terrace in Prince Rock, pleaded guilty to two counts of unlicensed money lending covering four years up to his arrest in May 2015.

Recorder Edward Burgess, presiding over the latest hearing, ordered him to pay the £20,000 within three months or face nine months in prison.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) brought the case against Constantine after officers, working with Plymouth City Council Trading Standards and Devon and Cornwall Police, searched his home.

Tony Quigley, head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said after the case: “Today’s hearing sends out a clear message that loan sharks who are caught flouting the law will be prosecuted and stripped of their available assets.

"This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated in Plymouth and we will continue to work with the police and local authority to crack down on loan sharks.

“If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, please call the IMLT on 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.uk.”

Councillor Dave Downie, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities at Plymouth City Council, added: “Instead of resorting to loan sharks we recommend people to look to more ethical, low interest ways of borrowing and lending, such as the City of Plymouth Credit Union, or to access household goods through the Fair For You scheme.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,000 people.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:59 pm 
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yayy

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:24 pm 
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The trade must be sh!t in Plymouth if the drivers are that desperate.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:30 pm 
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Midlife martyr wrote:
The trade must be sh!t in Plymouth if the drivers are that desperate.


what a thing to say......haha ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:05 am 
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Remind me what the interest rates are at Wonga or other such lenders?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:25 pm 
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Midlife martyr wrote:
The trade must be sh!t in Plymouth if the drivers are that desperate.

That's one of the problems with our trade, some drivers are desperate.

They buy a car cheap, and then it costs them money they haven't got to get fixed. Thus they go to money lenders like the above.

Happens down here all the time.

Borrow say £200 one month, pay back £250 next month and it works out at several 1000%. :sad:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:28 pm 
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It is certainly true that you need a decent car for this game, spending too little is a false economy as you soon find out when your cars in the garage every couple of weeks costing to get fixed and losing earnings, the same applies when you keep a car too long and get caught in the throwing good money after bad trap when things start going wrong.
It's hard advice to follow but the best time to get rid of your car is when it's running fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:34 am 
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Midlife martyr wrote:
It is certainly true that you need a decent car for this game, spending too little is a false economy as you soon find out when your cars in the garage every couple of weeks costing to get fixed and losing earnings, the same applies when you keep a car too long and get caught in the throwing good money after bad trap when things start going wrong.
It's hard advice to follow but the best time to get rid of your car is when it's running fine.


Some cars run bad all their lives other run fine all their lives...And until it plays up you just don't know when that when is, Usually you can see the bigger problems coming before they actually arrive and that's when I tend to get rid.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Some drivers need to keep out of the bookies

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:41 pm 
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well we all know our Trotsky is the intellectual equal of Cyprinidae :-#

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Think that is the first time a post by me has been deleted.

Would the moderator care to let me know my offence?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:23 am 
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Chris the Fish wrote:

Would the moderator care to let me know my offence?

Working in Plymouth?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:00 pm 
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trotskys twin wrote:
grandad wrote:
Chris the Fish wrote:

Would the moderator care to let me know my offence?

Working in Plymouth?



:badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin: or being a pillock #-o #-o


Should that not have been a Pollack.


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