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Foster Loan Shark
March 5, 2014 permalink
When British foster mom Sandra Lowe needed more money she resorted to loan sharking. She kept the money flowing with regular threats against her clients. No word on how she treated the foster kids.
Foster carer who led a double life as a loan shark has been jailed
Sandra Lowe, 51, was sentenced to three years behind bars after being found guilty of 16 illegal money lending charges
A foster mum who doubled as a loan shark raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds has been jailed.
Sandra Lowe, 51, known as ‘Dawn’, took out bank loans and credit cards to run the illegal money lending business over a seven year period from 2005.
A court heard she did not set interest rates and kept no records, instead asking for regular weekly repayments with her victims often having no idea how much they owed.
One, who is estimated to have borrowed around £70,000 from Lowe, had paid more than £145,000 back when the business was rumbled in 2012.
A judge said she would have kept them paying ‘almost indefinitely’ had she not been arrested.
The court heard she sent a text message to one victim saying: “I ain’t going to be 160 quid down this week, sort it out and don’t force me to do something I don’t want to.”
She also ran an unregistered catalogue business, where she would buy household goods and sell them on for a ‘commission’, Simon Mortimer, prosecuting said.
The court was told that the exact scale of the business was uncertain but between June 2006 and June 2012 around £300,000 passed through her bank accounts.
Lowe, of Arnott Crescent, Hulme, denied being all charges, but was last month found guilty of 16 counts of running a consumer credit business without a licence by a jury.
She was cleared of one charge of blackmail.
Her barrister said she had not lived an ‘extravagent' lifestyle as a result of the business, living in a modest house and driving a modest car.
Patrick Harris, defending, also said she had also done charity work and transformed a number of youngsters lives through her fostering.
He said: “There are a significant number of children she has fostered, who have gone on to lead extremely productive lives - obtaining university degrees and employment.”
However, she was sentenced to three years behind bars.
Judge Martin Rudland told her: “You exploited those who were vulnerable and you targeted those who you quickly began to value as the most profitable.
“This took place over a length period of time and became a way of life for you.
“You were not averse to applying pressure in the form of threats to your victims.”
Source: Manchester Evening News