On 9 February 2018, Dharam Prakash Gopee was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment after being found guilty of offences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. In addition to the custodial sentence, Mr Gopee was issued with a Serious Crime Prevention Order which is designed to prevent him from committing similar crimes in the future.
Despite not having the necessary consumer credit licence from the OFT or, subsequently, securing any authorisation from the FCA, Mr Goppee acted as an illegal money lender between 2012 and 2016. Mr Gopee advanced approximately £1 million in loans to vulnerable customers. The loans were at high rates of interest and secured against the customers’ residential properties. Mr Gopee received at least £2 million in repayments from the vulnerable customers, none of whom was aware that Mr Gopee did not hold the necessary licence or authorisation.
Further information is available in the FCA’s press release which is available here: Illegal Money Lender Sentenced