Ferrari-racing payday loan mogul Scott Tucker is one of three men facing racketeering charges in a federal crackdown on the short-term loan industry that charges millions of poor people annual interest rates that sometimes exceeded 700 percent.
The U.S. is attempting to seize at least $2 billion from Tucker, including a property in Aspen, Colorado, a Learjet, six Ferraris and four Porsches, claiming they were bought with proceeds of crime.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Tucker and Timothy Muir, a lawyer who worked with him, in Kansas City, Kansas, on Wednesday. Separately, Richard Moseley Sr., owner and operator of a group of payday-lending businesses based in Kansas City, Missouri, is also accused of being a part of a criminal organization whose members engaged in crimes including the collection of unlawful debts.
“Innocent people throughout the country were deprived of the opportunity to regain their financial well-being as a result of this conspiracy,” Diego Rodriguez, assistant director-in- charge of the FBI’s New York office, said in a statement announcing the charges against Moseley. “Today, we issue a stop payment on Moseley’s fraudulent scheme.”
Paul Shechtman, a lawyer for Tucker, Thomas Bath, a lawyer for Muir, and Marilyn Brady Keller, a lawyer for Moseley, didn’t respond to voicemail messages seeking comment on the allegations. All three defendants face charges that include racketeering-conspiracy and violations of collecting unlawful debts, which carry terms of as long as 20 years in prison.
They’re also accused of using misleading contracts and lying about their operations’ locations.
Moseley appeared before a federal magistrate in Kansas and was released on bail. He’s scheduled to appear next before a judge in Manhattan. Tucker and Muir were also released on bail.
Tucker’s operation generated more than $2 billion in revenue and he pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars, according to prosecutors who plan to ask a federal judge to freeze assets and order all that money to be forfeited. In a separate case last year, lenders affiliated with Tucker that operated under Native American tribal sovereignty paid $21 million and waived $285 million in charges to settle federal claims.