Friday, January 5, 2018

Payday Loan mogul Scott Tucker trades ferrari-racing for Prison Cell

Scott Tucker says he’s a pioneering self-made man who, without a college degree, contributed billions to the economy. A judge says he’s an unrepentant fraud artist and sentenced him to almost 17 years in prison.
The disgraced payday loan mogul, better known as a race-car driver on U.S. and European circuits, enjoyed an opulent lifestyle, with a private jet, vacation homes, and a fleet of Ferraris. The 55-year-old resident of Overland Park, Kansas, was never short of cash. The same can’t be said of his former customers.

Millions of Americans who couldn’t get loans from regular banks flocked to Tucker’s businesses, where they were sometimes charged interest rates exceeding 700% for small loans. Tucker and Timothy Muir, a lawyer who worked for him, were convicted in October. Muir was sentenced to seven years.

Scott Tucker exits the Manhattan Federal Court in New York February 23, 2016
Jurors found the men guilty of collecting unlawful debts, using misleading contracts and falsely stating that the businesses were owned and operated by Native American tribes. That bogus claim helped him them get around state laws that prohibited their shady business practices. Prosecutors said Tucker and his team formed sham relationships with the tribes and laundered billions of dollars through their bank accounts to hide his ownership and control of the business. The tribes got 1 percent of the revenue.

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