A PAYDAY loan broker who got her at-risk customers to borrow nearly £ 15,000 and hand over the money to her has been jailed.
Marivic Balmer, 47, worked for Provident Personal Credit, based in Basildon, from 2008, visiting customers in their townhouses to collect debts, provide advice, and approve new loans.
Basildon Crown Court heard that she had befriended some of her clients and convinced them to file fraudulent claims on her behalf over a period of 12 months from July 2013.
The company that uses the slogan “The credit that comes to you” charges up to 1,577 percent interest.
Balmer of Maldon Road, Burnham, received a total of 15 loans leaving five clients in debt in excess of £ 30,000.
During their trial, Balmer accused the victims of trying to pass their debts on to them.
Stephen Requena, Attorney General, said, “The clients whose evidence we have heard have been friends in some cases. They were financially vulnerable and vulnerable in other ways. ”
Customers were left with debt between £ 1,000 and £ 5,700 for a total of £ 14,900. One victim was disabled, another heavily pregnant.
Caroline Moonan said mitigating that Balmer always intended to repay the debt, likening the case to mortgage fraud.
The court heard she paid back more than £ 10,000 before she was caught and has since repaid the balance. The company wrote off customers’ debts.
Judge Ian Graham said despite her lack of a criminal record and the fact that the money was repaid, jail time was “inevitable”.
He said, “The loans were made on your behalf, they were repayable, but they gave you the cash benefit.
“You made the repayments yourself at first, but they got intermittent and eventually fizzled out.
“Why you did that remains unclear. Why the customers agreed to this agreement remains unclear. But it is, in my opinion, an indication of their vulnerability.
“Falsely blaming others was a feature of this case, and you insisted. It was an unattractive defense.
“You took advantage of those who trusted you and you took advantage of your employer who trusted you.”
Balmer was incarcerated for 12 months for each count to run at the same time.