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24 September 2013, 13:02 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Three loan sharks from Manchester have each been handed a prison sentence for illegal money lending and violently threatening borrowers.
Three men who operated as loan sharks in Manchester have been sentenced following a hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.
At an earlier hearing Ian Parsons, 27 of Lakeside Rise, Blackley,Christopher Weaver, 37 of Maybury Street, Gorton and his brother Mark Weaver all pleaded guilty to charges of illegal money lending and money laundering.
Ian Parsons was sentenced to 32 months in prison, Christopher Weaver to 18 months in prison Mark Weaver was sentenced to three months in prison.
It was found that the trio had at least 134 borrowers and had an annual turnover of about £110,000
Christopher and Mark Weaver played lesser roles, collecting and encouraging people to take up loans.
Mark Weaver was arrested in May 2012 by Greater Manchester Police in relation to another offence, for which he is serving a custodial sentence. At the time of his arrest he was found with documentary and phone records in relation to the illegal business.
Parsons and Weaver were arrested at their home addresses.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team found they were lending mainly to young women with young children. The clients were similar in age, mainly unemployed or on low income wages.
On behalf of the prosecution David Hercock told the court how there was underlying theme of intimidation, with threatening text messages such as “When I get you I’ll end you” and “He’ll come and grab you and snap your jaw” sent from Parson. Parson’s blackberry avatar showed a bare chested man wearing a balaclava with the caption “One..two..Moneyz cumin 4 you.”
The investigation and prosecution was led by the England Illegal Money Lending Team as part of Operation Challenger a multi agency crackdown in partnership with Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Police.