Illegal money lender jailed for failing to pay confiscation order

FCA has issued a press release highlighting the nearly 8 year prison sentence handed down to Dharam Prakash Gopee by the City of London Magistrates’ Court for wilfully refusing to adhere to a confiscation order made against him in December 2019 for the sum of £5 million in criminal proceeds.

Mr Gopee was originally prosecuted by FCA and convicted of illegally lending to vulnerable people at high rates in 2018. He had further sought to seize borrowers’ homes when they were unable to repay.  When the confiscation order was made, Mr Gopee was warned by the judge that he could serve up to 11 years in prison if he failed to pay.

In the period between his original conviction and his imprisonment, Mr Gopee has unsuccessfully challenged the confiscation and associated orders on over 30 occasions. In July 2023, he was found to be a vexatious litigant by the Court of Appeal, which made an order preventing him from making any further civil claims without permission.

The sentence is designed to encourage payment and will be reduced if Mr Gopee pays towards his confiscation order. Even after his imprisonment, Mr Gopee will continue to be liable for the outstanding debt.

Duncan Scott