A heartless worker at a Sheffield emergency loans company ripped off desperate customers by charging them fake admin fees which he pocketed.
David Pafrement was given a suspended jail sentence at Sheffield Crown Court after admitting four counts of fraud and one count of theft.
The 39-year-old, of Clayton Crescent, Waterthorpe, Sheffield, was working at Loans2Go on Southey Green Road when he started siphoning money that was meant for customers, some of whom were vulnerable people who needed his assistance filling in application forms.
Pafrement took £295 in total from five customers but has been ordered to repay Loans2Go – which offers immediate cash loans of between £250 and £5,000 at interest rates of 450.5 per cent – compensation of £747 due to the interest it has had to repay to the affected victims.
Ian Goldsack, prosecuting, said Pafrement would charge customers administration fees of either £50 or £60. In one instance when a customer asked for a loan, of £360, he gave them £300 and kept the rest for himself.
On another occasion, he stole a customer’s final repayment rather than inputting it to the company.
He was caught after complaints were made by customers to the company.
Mr Goldsack said two of his victims had been dyslexic and had required Pafrement’s help to fill in their application forms.
He said one of the victims had described how he felt Pafrement had been ‘taking advantage’ of someone already in a difficult financial situation. Pafrement initially denied to the police that he had done anything wrong and claimed the reason for the allegations was down to a dispute he was having with his former employer.
But he eventually pleaded guilty to the five offences on the day he had been due to stand trial in February.
Richard Jepson, defending, said his client’s crimes had been ‘an act of foolishness’.
He said: “He was always going to be caught.
“For a small amount of money, he has thrown away his good name, thrown away his reputation.”
Recorder Ray Singh said: “People who go to these kind of companies go because they are desperate and they need cash urgently. You preyed on that desperation.
“You were in a position of trust and you betrayed that trust.”
He was jailed for nine months suspended for a year and will have to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.