TWO loan sharks who received £500,000 after lending cash illegally have been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds.
Adrian Dowse and Kevin White were jailed last year for running an illicit loans book for taxi drivers in Havant.
Now they have been forced to remortgage or sell their homes to pay back a combined £195,000 in just three months.
Portsmouth Crown Court also heard their two-year and nine-month sentence was cut to two years on appeal.
But now Dowse, 46, faces serving an extra year, and White faces 14 months if the cash is not paid.
Sarah Jones, mitigating, said: ‘Mr White and Mr Dowse have absolutely no intention of going back to prison.
‘Both are very changed men as a result of what has happened.
‘I would invite the court to acknowledge these changes and how both men have dealt very responsibly with the aftermath.’
Dowse benefited by £260,000 but was ordered to pay back £80,000 in three months or face a year in prison.
White benefited by £260,000 and must pay back £115,000 in three months or go to prison for 14 months.
When they were sentenced last November, the court heard the pair had not been violent to anyone and that they ‘did not exploit individuals’.
But the sentencing judge said they were ‘cash rich’ and that their victims were in ‘very straitened circumstances’ and needed to be ‘protected from entering into unscrupulous financial arrangements that would take them further into financial debt’.
Their loans book was worth £769,681 over more than two years.
Working ‘hand-in-hand’ they made loans of cash and sold cars and minibuses in Havant and Portsmouth, imposing a rate of up to 50 per cent interest.
They imposed £6,000 in penalties and received £520,080 in repayments.
At the proceeds of crime hearing yesterday the court heard they would not have to account or pay for cash that was still with the lenders.
Tony Quigley, from the Illegal Money Lending Team, which prosecuted Dowse and White, said clawing back the cash meant the men would not profit from their crimes.
Mr Quigley said: ‘The hearing sends out a clear message that loan sharks who are caught flouting the law will be prosecuted and stripped of their available assets.’
Dowse, of Botley Drive, Leigh Park, and White, 57, of Bramdean Drive, Leigh Park, previously admitted two money laundering offences, possession of criminal property and converting criminal property.
n For help or advice if you have information about an unscrupulous money lender call the Illegal Money Lending Team’s confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222.