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Law Society calls for criminal investigation of Wonga

July 8 2014

The Law Society has called for a criminal investigation of payday loan firm Wonga over fake email letters it sent to thousands of struggling customers.

Wonga, which offers short-term loans, wrote letters to struggling borrowers in the names of two non-existent law companies.

Now the Law Society has asked the Financial Conduct Authority to hand over copies of its investigation and the Solicitors Regulation Authority to examine whether an offence has been committed under the Legal Services Act 2007.

Law Society chief executive Desmond Hudson said: “It seems that the intention behind Wonga’s dishonest activity was to make customers believe that their outstanding debt had been passed to a genuine law firm.

“It looks like they also wanted customers to believe that court action undertaken by a genuine law firm would follow if the debt was not repaid.

“Depending on the precise circumstances of what has happened, that could amount to blackmail and deception, as well as offences under the Solicitors Act 1974 and Legal Services Act 2007.”

The Law Society wants the Metropolitan Police to investigate whether several offences have been committed including obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception and blackmail.

In a letter to the Financial Conduct Authority, Mr Hudson has also asked that the FCA provides further information about Wonga’s activities, including copies of the letters from non-existent law firms which they sent.