Home Detroit Press Releases 2014 Loan Shark Sentenced to Prison
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Loan Shark Sentenced to Prison

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 25, 2014
  • Eastern District of Michigan (313) 226-9100

A Troy man was sentenced today to serve 41 months in prison for loan sharking activities within the Albanian community, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

Joining in the announcement was Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Carolyn Weber, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations.

U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds imposed the sentence on Tomo Duhanaj, 44, who pleaded guilty to charges of making extortionate extensions of credit and money laundering on December 19, 2013.

The information presented to the court established that Duhanaj, an undocumented alien from Kosovo, loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars at high interest rates, sometimes exceeding 100 percent per year, to members of the Albanian community with the understanding that failure to repay the loans would result in violence by Duhanaj and his organization. Duhanaj concealed the proceeds of these activities, in part, by placing assets in the names of other people. Duhanaj will be deported to Kosovo at the conclusion of his sentence.

“This defendant used his contacts in his community to prey upon people who were desperate for cash,” McQuade said.

“Loaning cash at excessively high interest rates while enforcing repayment through violence or threat is a federal crime,” said Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit Field Office. “Those who prey upon members of the community in this manner and act outside the bounds of the law will be brought to justice.”

“Today’s sentencing is a direct result of the excellent partnership IRS, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s office have and demonstrates our role in combating all types of financial fraud,” said Carolyn Weber, Acting Special Agent in Charge IRS Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office.

McQuade commended the efforts of special agents of the FBI and the IRS who investigated this case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth Chadwell, Margaret Smith and Linda Aouate, who prosecuted the case.

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