More than one million victims of an online payday lender called AMG Services will get repayments totaling $ 505 million, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday, the largest litigation settlement in the protection agency’s history. of consumers.
The man behind the scheme, former professional racing car driver Scott Tucker, began operating in a Kansas City storefront in the 1990s. He regularly issued loans at interest rates of 700 to 1. 000 percent, well above legal limits for loans in states that regulate payday loans. It was relatively easy to add surprise fees because customers had to pre-authorize withdrawals from their accounts to take out the loans, the FTC said.
Tucker also made a number of agreements with Native American tribes in Kansas and Oklahoma, believing that tribal sovereignty would protect him from state laws, the government mentionned.
Nearly 1.2 million refund checks will be mailed starting Thursday, the FTC said, six years after the agency first sued AMG and Tucker.
Consumers may be eligible for reimbursement if they took out loans between January 2008 and January 2013 from these seven companies, all affiliated with AMG: 500FastCash, Advantage Cash Services, Ameriloan, OneClickCash, Star Cash Processing, UnitedCashLoans or USFastCash.
Last year, a New York jury found Tucker guilty of 14 counts, including racketeering. He is currently serving 16 years in prison. Tucker’s lawyer and co-accused Tim Muir was sentenced to seven years; Tucker’s brother Joel Tucker is currently facing an indictment for bundling fake payday loan wallets.