Monday, April 5, 2021

Scott Tucker - America's loan shark

Scott Tucker said he’s a self-made man who, without a degree, contributed billions to the economy. A judge said Tucker is an unrepentant fraud artist and sentenced him to 17 years in prison in 2017.
The payday loan mogul was a race-car driver and enjoyed an opulent lifestyle, with a private jet, vacation homes, and a fleet of Ferraris. The 55-year-old was never short of cash. The same can’t be said of his customers.

Millions who couldn’t get loans from banks flocked to Tucker’s businesses, where interest rates exceeded 700% for small loans. Jurors found Tucker guilty of collecting unlawful debts, using misleading contracts and falsely stating that the businesses were owned and operated by natives.

Scott Tucker exits court in New York February 23, 2016.
The claim of Indian ownership helped him avoid state laws that prohibited his shady business practices. Tucker formed sham relationships with the tribes and laundered billions of dollars through their bank accounts to hide his ownership and control. The tribes got 1% of the revenue.

The scam ran from 1997 to 2013. From 2008 to 2012 alone, Tucker victimized 4.65m people, collecting $1.3b in illegal interest payments. "From my vantage point, I saw us as doing a good deed for society," Tucker said.
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