Illegal money lender imprisoned

An illegal money lender has been sentenced to imprisonment of 3.5 years for offences under FSMA and the CCA. In addition to bringing the successful prosecution against Dharam Gopee, FCA also successfully obtained a Serious Crime Prevention Order against him.

Mr Gopee was refused a consumer credit licence by the OFT and did not get FCA authorisation. Between 2012 and 2016, it was found he loaned money to vulnerable consumers at high rates, secured the loans against their property and sought to take possession if they failed to pay.  Once Mr Gopee is released from custody, the SCPO will stop him conducting any business in the credit sphere for 5 years, and limits the bank facilities he can operate while requiring him to notify FCA of those he does operate.

The court found that Mr Gopee, who had also previously been banned from being a director for the maximum 15 years in 2016, and been the subject of a restraint order under POCA, deliberately flouted the law.  FCA also revealed it had brought two sets of proceedings against him for contempt of court for repeated breaches of the restraining order.

Proceedings to confiscate the proceeds of Mr Gopee’s crimes are now underway.