China: 杨照东:从辩护角度看"非法放贷入刑"

Last Updated: 3 December 2019
Article by Yang Zhaodong

毋庸置疑,"高利贷"具有一定的社会危害性。但对此行为应否入刑,我国在立法及司法层面,一直以来均持否定的态度。

对于放高利贷的行为,我国刑法只在一种情况下将之规定为犯罪,即"以转贷牟利为目的,套取金融机构信贷资金高利转贷他人",也就是刑法第一百七十五条的"高利转贷罪",而对于以"非信贷资金"放高利贷者,现行刑法并未以罪论处。

在司法层面,2012年12月26日,最高法院在对广东省高级法院的批复(以下简称"批复")中答复到:我院经研究认为,被告人何光伟、张勇泉等人放高利贷的行为具有一定的社会危害性,但此类行为是否属于刑法第二百二十五条规定的"其他严重扰乱市场秩序的非法经营行为",相关立法解释和司法解释尚无明确规定,故对何伟光、张勇泉等人的行为不宜以非法经营罪定罪处罚。最高法院的这一批复坚持了"罪刑法定"的原则,统一了司法实践中的认识,迄今为止,尚无"高利贷"入刑的案例。

2015年最高法院发布了《关于审理民间借贷案件适用法律若干问题的规定》(以下简称"民间借贷规定")。该规定第二十六条规定"借贷双方约定的利率未超过年利率24%,出借人请求借款人按照约定的利率支付利息的,人民法院应予支持。借贷双方约定的利率超过年利率36%,超过部分的利息约定无效。借款人请求出借人返还已支付的超过年利率36%部分的利息的,人民法院应予支持。"这一规定,再次体现了"高利贷无效但无罪"的法律评价。

但是,随着我国市场经济的高速发展,民间借贷的不断壮大,高利贷也日渐猖獗,给社会带来的危害日趋明显。正确规范民间借贷,严厉打击非法放贷已成共识。

2019年10月21日,最高法院、最高检察院、公安部、司法部(以下简称"两院两部")《关于办理非法放贷刑事案件若干问题的意见》《以下简称"意见"》正式施行。两院两部一锤定音---非法放贷将构成非法经营罪!

《意见》非常全面、准确地规范了非法放贷以罪论处的构成要件,内容精炼易懂,但是,作为刑辩律师,我们在为此类案件辩护时,仍然有以下几方面的问题值得关注和探讨。

注意区别"非法放贷"与"放高利贷"

人们在日常生活中所常常谈论的,以及前述最高法院的批复和司法解释中所涉及到的相关表述,都是"放高利贷",这就容易使人们错误地认为《意见》是将"放高利贷"以罪论处了(正确的认识应该是"意见"将"非法放贷"以罪论处)。如是,在法庭上可能会出现控辩双方围绕着被告人是否"放高利贷"进行质证和辩论,而不是围绕被告人是否"非法放贷"。

这里需要注意的是:非法放贷一定是放高利贷(实际年利率超过36%),但放高利贷不一定是非法放贷。只有在"放贷对象的不特定"、"放贷的高频率"和"情节严重"同时具备时,"放高利贷"才转化为"非法放贷"("意见"第一条)。

关于定罪的几个问题及辩点

1.关于"特定对象"的除外情形

根据《意见》第四条的规定,仅向亲友、单位内部人员等特定对象出借资金的不构成非法经营罪,但是以下情形除外:(一)通过亲友、单位内部人员等特定对象向不特定对象发放贷款的;(二)以发放贷款为目的,将社会人员吸收为单位内部人员,并向其发放贷款的;(三)向社会公开宣传,同时向不特定多人和亲友、单位内部人员等特定对象发放贷款的。

此处需要注意:

(1)"通过亲友、单位内部人员等特定对象向不特定对象发放贷款",指的是行为人与亲友、内部人员共谋先把款放贷给亲友、内部人员,然后再以亲友、内部人员的名义转贷给他人,或明知亲友、内部人员会将款转贷他人仍向其发放贷款。

如果行为人只是在向亲友、单位内部人员发放贷款,但亲友、单位内部人员拿到贷款后转贷给他人,行为人对此不知情或事后才知道,因其主观上不具有向不特定对象放贷的故意,该行为不能认定为非法放贷进而定罪。

(2)"以发放贷款为目的,将社会人员吸收为单位内部人员,并向其发放贷款",这里要注意"是否以发放贷款为目的"的举证责任在控方,辩护律师可以从"借款人入职时间与放贷的先后"、"入职后是否实际工作"、"未实际工作的原因"、"薪酬约定"等方面入手,评价控方的证明标准,也可以就上述方面进行取证,以否定指控。

(3)"向社会公开宣传,同时向不特定多人和亲友、单位内部人员等特定对象发放贷款",这里的关注重点是"向社会公开宣传"。"向社会公开宣传"的认定标准应参照最高法院法释【2010】18号及最高两院、公安部《关于办理非法集资刑事案件适用法律若干问题的意见》中的规定。如果没有充分证据证明行为人"向社会公开宣传",则不能认定其非法放贷进而定罪。

2.关于"放贷频率"的认定

根据《意见》第一条第二款的规定,2年内向不特定多人(包括单位和个人)以借款或其他名义出借资金10次以上的,是非法放贷。第三款规定:贷款到期后延长还款期限的,发放贷款次数按照1次计算。

"贷款后延长还款期限"也就是"续贷"的,无论续贷几次均按发放贷款1次计算,这容易理解。问题是:贷款到期后未还,借贷双方重新签订借款合同,约定以新的贷款偿还旧的贷款,即"借新还旧"的,如何认定放贷次数,是否也计算为1次?《意见》没有明确。有人认为,对于"借新还旧"的,不能认定为1次。大概的理由是:借新还旧中前后是两个(或以上)合同,两个合同产生了两个法律关系,属于两次借贷。

笔者认为,对于借新还旧,尚需区别对待。

在绝大多数情况下,借新还旧的前后两个合同在"借款本金"和"利率"的约定上都是一致的,除了合同的履行期限外,后合同基本上完全延续前合同的内容,有的后合同中还明确约定款项用途为"还此前借款"。借贷双方之间只是在借款手续上体现为两笔贷款,事实上并未发生第二笔借款,此时的"借新还旧"与"续贷"并无本质上的不同,对借款人来说没有产生实质上新的债务,对社会来说亦未增加新的社会危害,应将这种情况下的借新还旧计算为1次放贷。

对于在后合同中,出借方将前期借款利息记入后期借款本金的,鉴于借款的本金发生了变化,可视为两次放贷。

3.关于"非法放贷行为未经处理"的认定

《意见》第五条第三款规定:非法放贷行为未经处理的,非法放贷次数和数额、违法所得数额、非法放贷对象数量等应当累计计算。

这里的"未经处理"应该理解为包括民事诉讼、行政处罚等一切程序的处理。

关于《意见》适用的程序性问题

《意见》第八条规定本意见自2019年10月21日起施行。对于本意见施行前发生的非法放贷行为,依照最高人民法院《关于准确理解和适用刑法中"国家规定"的有关问题的通知》(法发〔2011〕155号)的规定办理。

法发[2011]155号文件第三条规定:各级人民法院审理非法经营犯罪案件,要依法严格把握刑法第二百二十五条第(四)的适用范围。对被告人的行为是否属于刑法第二百二十五条第(四)规定的"其它严重扰乱市场秩序的非法经营行为",有关司法解释未作明确规定的,应当作为法律适用问题,逐级向最高人民法院请示。

据此,对于发生在2019年10月21日前的非法放贷行为如何定性,各地方法院均无权直接作出认定,需"逐级向最高人民法院请示"。

实践中,地方法院在审理非法经营案件时,违反上述规定未向最高法院请示而直接定罪的现象时有发生,对此辩护律师需及时提出异议。

关于《意见》的溯及力

如前,《意见》第八条规定了办理非法放贷刑事案件的程序性要求,但在实体方面,《意见》并没有明确其是否具有溯及力。

2001年12月7日,最高人民法院、最高人民检察院《关于适用刑事司法解释时间效力问题的规定》(以下简称"溯及力规定")第二条规定:对于司法解释实施前发生的行为,行为时没有相关司法解释,司法解释施行后尚未处理或者正在处理的案件,依照司法解释的规定办理。第三条规定:对于新的司法解释实施前发生的行为,行为时已有相关司法解释,依照行为时的司法解释办理,但适用新的司法解释对犯罪嫌疑人、被告人有利的,适用新的司法解释。

那么,2019年10月21日《意见》实施之前,对于非法放贷以及如何定性的问题上,是否已有司法解释?《批复》及《民间借贷规定》是否算是已有司法解释?

可能有人会提出,《意见》第八条规定了对于《意见》实施前发生的非法放贷行为,依照[2011]115文件规定处理,即"逐级请示最高法院",这就意味着《意见》是具有溯及力的,对实施前发生的非法放贷行为可以据此定罪,只是要由最高法院批复决定。

也可能会有人提出,《溯及力规定》第三条中的"已有司法解释"指的是"刑事司法解释",《民间借贷规定》是最高法院针对审理民间借贷民事案件适用法律问题做出的规定,在非法放贷的刑事归责问题上,《意见》实施前没有相关的司法解释。对于《意见》实施前发生的非法放贷行为,应依照《意见》的规定办理。即《意见》具有溯及力。

笔者认为,从《批复》以及《民间借贷规定》中都可以看出,在那个时候,最高法院对"放高利贷"行为包括按照《意见》的标准已构成"非法放贷"的行为是持"无罪"态度的,这一态度不仅体现了"罪刑法定原则"的司法原则,也体现了"反对不教而诛"的理念。可以肯定,在《意见》实施之前,关于非法放贷行为的定性,无论是立法的本意,还是司法的现实以及学术界普遍的观点都是"无效但无罪"。

尽管《溯及力规定》是针对刑事司法解释的溯及力问题制定的,但这似乎并不意味着该规定第三条中的"已有相关司法解释"仅指刑事司法解释,从文意的角度上看,应包括民事、行政在内的能够表达最高司法机关对该类刑事案件的态度的一切司法解释。

而对《溯及力规定》第二条的"行为时没有相关司法解释",理解为"没有明文规定"且"没有明确的态度"应该更符合立法的本意。

尽管《民间借贷规定》仅适用于民事案件的审理,但其仍然是一个司法解释。更重要的是,如前所述,这一解释间接地表达了最高审判机关"对非法放贷行为不以罪论处"的立场和观点,应该视为"已有的司法解释"。

按照同样的逻辑去理解,2012年最高法院对广东省法院的批复,也应该视为"已有的司法解释"。

如此,对于2012年之前发生的非法放贷行为,鉴于当时尚无《批复》及《民间借贷规定》,应适用《意见》的规定办理。对于2012年《批复》后至2019年10月21日之间发生的非法放贷行为,则应按照《批复》或《民间借贷规定》办理。

以上观点,系笔者在学习《意见》过程中的一些思考,一家之言,恐有不当乃至错误,权当抛砖引玉,敬请指正!

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