On 11 December 2019, Southwark Crown Court made a confiscation order against Dharam Prakash Gopee in the sum of £5,118,018.72. The effect of the order is to confiscate all his criminal proceeds as an illegal money lender. Mr Gopee was also ordered to pay almost £230,000 in compensation to consumers.
This follows the FCA’s prosecution in which Mr Gopee was convicted of illegal money lending and sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison. Mr Gopee illegally loaned money to vulnerable consumers at high rates, securing the loans against their properties. He sought to take possession of the properties if the consumers failed to repay their loans.
If Mr Gopee does not pay the confiscation and compensation orders on time, he is liable to spend a further 11 years in prison. Mr Gopee is also subject to a travel ban preventing him from leaving the UK until he has paid the orders.
Mark Steward, Executive Director of Enforcement and Market Oversight at the FCA, said:
'Mr Gopee’s offending has caused substantial harm to vulnerable consumers. He has defied court orders in continuing to offend in one of the worst cases of contempt of court seen by the FCA. Together with his jailing, this order seeks to deprive him of all his ill-gotten gains and to compensate victims. He runs the risk of a very significant additional jail term if he fails to comply with these orders.'
Mr Gopee also continues to be subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order, preventing him from undertaking further money lending for 5 years.
Notes to editors
- Details of the FCA’s previous action including conviction and sentencing against Mr Gopee.
- In addition to his prison sentence in 2018, Mr Gopee also served two prison terms for contempt of court for breaching a Court Restraint Order.
- As a result of the ‘criminal lifestyle’ provisions within the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, this Confiscation Order not only reflects the financial benefit obtained by Mr Gopee from the crimes of which he was convicted but all of his previous criminal conduct.
- The compensation figure arises from consumers who had suffered a financial loss as a result of Mr Gopee’s convictions, which reflected offences committed between 17 August 2012 and 1 November 2016. The court made compensation awards to consumers who had repaid Mr Gopee more than the sum of the original loan they received; consumers who had not made any repayments during the period above could not be said to have suffered loss as a result of the activity covered by Mr Gopee’s convictions.
- On 1st October 2019 the High Court made a ‘General Civil Restraint Order’ against Mr Gopee which stops him from bringing certain civil cases/applications to court without a Judge’s permission. The order will last until 1st October 2021. Find out more.
- Find out more information about the FCA.