California Code, Civil Code - CIV § 1916-3
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(a) Every person, company, association or corporation, who for any loan or forbearance of money, goods or things in action shall have paid or delivered any greater sum or value than is allowed to be received under the preceding sections, one and two, may either in person or his or its personal representative, recover in an action at law against the person, company, association or corporation who shall have taken or received the same, or his or its personal representative, treble the amount of the money so paid or value delivered in violation of said sections, providing such action shall be brought within one year after such payment or delivery.
(b) Any person who willfully makes or negotiates, for himself or another, a loan of money, credit, goods, or things in action, and who directly or indirectly charges, contracts for, or receives with respect to any such loan any interest or charge of any nature, the value of which is in excess of that allowed by law, is guilty of loan-sharking, a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in the county jail for not more than one year. This subdivision shall not apply to any person licensed to make or negotiate, for himself or another, loans of money, credit, goods, or things in action, or expressly exempted from compliance by the laws of this state with respect to such licensure or interest or other charge, or to any agent or employee of such person when acting within the scope of his agency or employment.
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