A Poway woman faces 14 criminal counts for loan-sharking, charging an excessive interest rate for personal loans, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith announced Thursday.
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Lirio Lee Ramos, 56, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the misdemeanor charges. A readiness conference is set for July 11.
According to a criminal complaint, the alleged illegal activities happened between May 2009 and December 2010.
The complaint alleges that Ramos extended personal loans to 14 people at an interest rate that exceeded the 10 percent maximum permitted by law.
Although there are exceptions to the 10 percent cap for businesses engaged in the lending business, like banks and credit card companies, individuals making loans for personal, family or household purposes are prohibited from charging more than 10 percent interest per year, Goldsmith said.
According to Goldsmith, there may be additional victims of Ramos' alleged high-interest rate loans. Anyone who thinks they may be a victim or who has information about a potential victim should call the City Attorney's Consumer Help Line at (619) 533-5600.
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