Filipina in UK Guilty of Illegal Money Lending

A Filipina in the Scarborough, North York in the United Kingdom who was engaged in illegal money lending to fellow Filipinos has been sentenced to a suspended jail term by a local court.

Adelaida Thompson, 65, was given two eight-month sentences, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work, following a hearing at York Crown Court. A curfew has likewise been imposed on her for three months.

In an exclusive interview with The Scarborough, Thompson and her 71-year-old husband said such practcie — called 5-6, or borrow 5 and pay back 6 — is a common practice in the Philippines and India, where it is called “Bombay 5-6.” Borrowers of the lending scheme are close friends within the Scarborough Filipino community, all nurses at Scarborough Hospital or health-care workers.

But as an unauthorized money lender and did not obtain required license from the Office of Fair Trading, Thompson was investigated by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), working in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Police.

Investigations showed that over a period of four years, Thompson was able to lend money to mostly Filipino nurses. A search at the couple’s home in January last year yielded loan documentation and over £8,000 in cash was found. Apparently over the same period, Thompson was lending more than £113,000 and receiving over £142,000 in repayments, a profit of around £30,000.

“This sentence is on the basis that you are a loan shark, charging exorbitant rates of interest with penalties charged if payments were not made on time. On one occasion you went to a borrower’s house and demanded money, “Judge Batty said.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said his office is continuing to crackdown on illegal money lending and investing.

“We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222,” Quigley said.