- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit-area man who illegally entered the U.S. more than a decade ago has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for making loans to fellow Albanians at interest rates of 45 percent or more.

Federal prosecutors describe Tomo Duhanaj (DEW’-ha-nay) as a “tough guy” in the Albanian community who made loans at exorbitant rates. He’s accused of using threats and intimidation to collect.

Duhanaj was sentenced Tuesday in Detroit federal court. In December, the 44-year-old pleaded guilty to loan sharking and money laundering.

His attorney says the borrowers agreed to the terms of the loans and weren’t coerced.

Duhanaj will be deported to Kosovo at the end of his sentence. He’ll get credit for more than a year in custody. The case was investigated by FBI and IRS agents.

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