Wonga dodges criminal charges for fake legal threat letters scandal

The City of London Police has announced that Wonga will not be prosecuted for drafting fictitious legal letters as part of a mass debt retrieval programme.

The criminal investigation was originally launched after the firm sent fabricated letters from law firms ‘Chainey, D'Amato & Shannon’ and ‘Barker and Lowe Legal Recoveries’ to customers between October 2008 and November 2010.

The force announced that “there is not sufficient evidence to progress a criminal investigation” after the online money lending firm paid £2.6m in compensation to 45,000 customers affected by the misleading practices.

A police statement said: “In April 2014, the (FCA) entered into discussions with Wonga and secured compensation for the customers affected. Once this matter was concluded the City of London Police agreed it was in the interests of the public to review further material that had been obtained both during the FCA discussions and after the original OFT referral in 2012.

“The central allegations were that Wonga had deceived its customers by sending letters falsely purporting to be from lawyers with the aim of recovering outstanding debts from customers.”

The firm was founded in 2006 and now boasts over 300 employees.