$ 505 million returned to victims of giant payday loan program | Nation

U.S. officials said on Thursday they were sending more than $ 505 million in reimbursement checks to nearly 1.18 million people affected by a massive payday loan scheme run by the convicted former racing driver and racketeer Scott Tucker.

The payment announced by the Federal Trade Commission, which works with the Department of Justice, stems from a $ 1.27 billion civil judgment the FTC won in September 2016 against Tucker, who ran AMG Services Inc., and some of its companies.

The money will go to consumers who got loans from seven wallets formerly managed by AMG: Advantage Cash Services, Ameriloan, 500FastCash, OneClickCash, Star Cash Processing, UnitedCashLoans and USFastCash.

Tucker, 56, of Overland Park, Kansas, is appealing his October 2017 conviction for racketeering and other charges, and his sentence of 16 years and eight months in prison.

His case stems from a federal crackdown on people who exploit cash-strapped consumers by charging exorbitant interest rates and fees on short-term loans, some of which could squeeze borrowers out of cash. pays to the other.

Prosecutors said Tucker’s companies regularly charged interest rates of up to 700% and benefited more than 4 million consumers from 1997 to 2013.

Tucker argues in his appeal that the trial judge mistakenly instructed the jury and improperly prevented them from providing evidence to support his view that the interest rate caps of the state did not apply to its loans.

The $ 1.27 billion judgment is the largest contentious judgment won by the FTC.

A lawyer who defended AMG at the start of this case, Andrew Smith, is now director of the FTC’s consumer protection office.

US Bancorp, where Tucker was a long-time client, agreed to a $ 528 million fine in February for violating federal bank secrecy law, including failing to report Tucker’s suspicious activity in a timely manner.

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