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NCJ Number: 64741 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CONTROLLING THE CONTEMPORARY LOANSHARK - THE LAW OF ILLICIT LENDING AND THE PROBLEM OF WITNESS FEAR
Journal: CORNELL LAW REVIEW  Volume:65  Issue:2  Dated:(JANUARY 1980)  Pages:127-289
Author(s): R GOLDSTOCK; D T COENEN
Corporate Author: Cornell Law Review
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 164
Sponsoring Agency: Cornell Law Review
Ithaca, NJ 14853
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78PT-AX-0001
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CONTEMPORARY LOANSHARKING AND LAWS DIRECTED AT THIS ACTIVITY ARE DISCUSSED. PROSECUTORIAL DIFFICULTIES CAUSED BY WITNESS FEAR ARE ALSO EXPLORED, WITH EMPHASIS ON PROSECUTORS' REMEDIES.
Abstract: LOANSHARKING HAS BEEN VARIOUSLY DEFINED, BUT IN CURRENT USAGE IT EMBODIES TWO CENTRAL FEATURES: THE ASSESSMENT OF EXORBITANT INTEREST RATES IN EXTENDING LOANS AND THE USE OF THREATS OR VIOLENCE IN COLLECTING THEM. THE DOMINANT ROLE OF ORGANIZED CRIME AND THE ECONOMICS OF LOANSHARKING ARE EXPLORED. DISCUSSION INCLUDES A HISTORY OF LOANSHARKING FROM EARLY CHRISTIAN TEACHING TO THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN SCENE. LOANSHARKING OPERATIONS (THE TRANSACTION, COLLECTION OF THE DEBT, STRUCTURE OF THE OPERATION) AND CUSTOMERS (LEGITIMATE AND CRIMINAL) ARE DESCRIBED. ACTUAL CASES ILLUSTRATE THE METHODS IN WHICH ORGANIZED CRIME USE LOANSHARKING TO INFILTRATE LEGITIMATE BUSINESSES. THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT, BASIC PRINCIPLES, AND ELEMENTS OF STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF LOANSHARKING FOCUS ON EXTORTIONATE CREDIT TRANSACTION LAWS, LAWS PROHIBITING THE COLLECTION OF CREDIT BY EXTORTIONATE MEANS, CRIMINAL USURY, LAWS PROHIBITING FINANCING EXTORTIONATE EXTENSIONS OF CREDIT, LAWS PROSCRIBING THE POSSESSION OF RECORDS OF LOANSHARKING TRANSACTIONS, AND OTHER STATUTORY PROVISIONS. JURISDICTIONAL REQUIREMENTS CONCERNING PROOF OF THREATS, FEAR, AND AN EXTORTIONATE 'UNDERSTANDING' ARE DISCUSSED. CONVICTION MAY REST ON DIRECT EVIDENCE, EQUIVOCAL CONDUCT AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE, CHARACTER EVIDENCE (REPUTATION EVIDENCE, PRIOR-ACTS EVIDENCE). DISCUSSION ALSO FOCUSES ON THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THE INTRODUCTION OF CHARACTER EVIDENCE AND THE PRACTICAL PROBLEMS INVOLVED IN HANDLING FEAR IN ORDER TO OBTAIN CITIZEN ASSISTANCE. IT IS NOTED THAT CITIZENS EXERCISING THEIR DUTY TO TESTIFY IN COURT SHOULD BE PROTECTED. COURT CASES ARE ALSO CITED WHICH POSE OBSTACLES AND PRESENT ALTERNATIVES IN COPING WITH RECALCITRANT WITNESSES. AN APPENDIX CONTAINS CHART WHICH SCHEMATICALLY PRESENTS ALL STATE CREDIT-RELATED CRIMINAL LAWS AND EXTORTION STATUTES POTENTIALLY APPLICABLE TO THE LOANSHARK. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Laws and Statutes; Loan sharking; Organized crime; Rules of evidence; Witness assistance; Witness protection
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64741

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