MANCHESTER, England, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A loan shark who charged clients up to 2,437 percent interest on loans will spend the next five years in prison, a judge in Britain, says.
Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court Judge Adrian Smith sentenced John Kiely, 36, to five years in prison on charges of illegal money lending and blackmail in relation to a loan shark operation he ran that targeted poor Manchester families, The Daily Telegraph said Wednesday.
"It's clear to me you are a ruthless individual who has displayed a high degree of criminal sophistication," Smith said.
Kiely was also found guilty on charges of acquiring criminal property, unlawfully failing to give notice of a change in circumstances and concealing, disguising, converting or transferring criminal property.
Prosecutor Ben Mills had accused Kiely of forming the illegal money lending firm Project Finance UK Ltd. in 2005, two years after the defendant began working as a loan shark.
Mills alleged Kiely, who had a prior assault conviction, earned nearly $4.93 million between October 2003 and last October, when he was arrested, the newspaper said.