SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Poway woman pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of operating a loan sharking business and was immediately sentenced to probation and ordered to repay her victims nearly $24,000 in restitution.
Lirio Lee Ramos, 56, loaned money to co-workers at exorbitant interest rates that exceeded 480 percent per year, according to the San Diego City Attorney's Office.
According to a criminal complaint, the illegal activities happened between May 2009 and December 2010.
Prosecutors said they received a complaint that Ramos was trying to enforce debts that appeared to carry unlawfully high interest rates.
The city attorney's investigation revealed that Ramos loaned money to financially strapped co-workers, many of whom were dealing with personal emergencies, between May 2009 and December 2010, charging a minimum of 20-30 percent interest that she compounded every two weeks.
According to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Californians may make personal loans to friends and family members, who in turn may use those loans for personal, family or household purposes, but only at an annual interest rate of 7-10 percent.
Businesses engaged in the lending business, like banks and credit card companies, are regulated in other ways and are not subject to the 10 percent interest-per-year cap, Goldsmith said.
Police are searching for two suspects after an argument resulted in a deadly shooting in the parking lot of Burlington Coat Factory in La Mesa on Thursday.
Comic-Con International opened Thursday to Halle Barry chugging whisky, reminiscences from the cast of "Teen Wolf" and relatively light crowds in the San Diego Convention Center's major ballrooms.
There are typically a lot of Batmen at Comic-Con, but only one was the subject of a star-filled tribute.
Imagine "End of Watch" but with orcs and fairies and magic. That's the vibe of Will Smith's big budget Netflix film "Bright," which unveiled its first full trailer Thursday in a presentation at Comic-Con.
Comic-Con visitors are getting more than an early look at anticipated movies and shows. They're going inside them with virtual reality.
The water off our coastline is teeming with life and that includes one of the fiercest predators in the ocean - the great white shark. Some boaters got an up-close look at one of the sharks off Mission Bay. News 8's Marcella Lee reports on the incredible video.
A 20-year-old woman who had consumed alcohol before she struck and killed a teenage boy in Tierrasanta, then fled the scene, was sentenced Thursday to four years in state prison.
Protesters gathering outside Representative Darrell Issa's office in Vista has become a weekly occurrence. But News 8 has obtained copies of a message left by the local congressman asking the City of Vista to take action against the demonstrators.
O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel-room heist, successfully making his case for freedom in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America's enduring fascination with the former football star.