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Sale loan shark sentenced to six months in prison
A LOAN shark who operated predominantly in the Sale area has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Stephen Rennie, 44, of Mossfield Green, Eccles, was also ordered to pay back £25,000 at a hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on December 12.
He had pleaded guilty to illegal money lending and money laundering at an earlier hearing.
Rennie has already served two months on remand. He must pay back £25,000 by way of a confiscation order or will face a further 12 months in prison.
He had previously worked for a large licensed company, before setting up his own licensed money lending business, which he ran for five years.
In 2011 he allowed his licence to lapse and continued to lend money illegally.
Rennie was first arrested at his partners address in Sale in June this year, following an investigation by the England Illegal Money Lending Team and Trafford Trading Standards.
A folder he was found with showed that at least 63 individuals had received some form of credit.
There were 17 names with figures which had been brought forward, suggesting there were further loan books which had been discarded or destroyed.
Typically interest was charged at a flat rate between 46 per cent and 75 per cent, and at the time of his arrest Rennie was due a return in excess of £52,000.
When he was charged with the offences in September he claimed he was committing the crime under duress but wouldn’t provide further details.
After he told officers he would continue to lend money illegally in spite of his bail conditions he was remanded in custody.
Cllr Jonathan Coupe, Trafford Council’s executive member for safe and strong communities said: “We are committed to doing everything possible to eradicate loan sharks in Trafford.
“Perpetrators need to realise that this kind of activity will not be tolerated and by working with our partners we will do everything in our power to ensure those involved are brought to justice.”