According to a recent report in USA Today, a professional race car driver of Ferrari racing vehicles financed and funded his racing by operating a bad credit loan enterprise that impacted the lives of borrowers nationwide.
The $2 billion bad credit loan enterprise charged interest rates of 700% and more. The report states that race car driver Scott Tucker, 53 years old, and his lawyer, Timothy Muir, aged 44, have been accused of racketeering. According to a criminal indictment in New York, the two men are accused of victimizing people “. . . struggling to pay basic living expenses, including . . . food and housing. . . .”
Diego Rodriguez, an Assitant Director-in-Charge with the FBI said, “[Both men] . . . preyed on [over] . . . 4.5 million working people” by allegedly luring them to [agree to payday loan agreements] with interest rates [ranging] from 400% to 700%.” He said this scheme, like other similar deceptions, normally “. . . ends with an arrest by the FBI.”
According to the USA Today report, bad credit loans are defined as short term loans of cash that help borrowers meet certain expenses until they receive a paycheck. While the payday loan industry claims that the loans help low-income workers meet their obligations, consumer advocate groups and government regulators believe some of the lenders charge interest rates that can only be described as exorbitant.
From 1997 through August 2013, Scott Tucker’s businesses, including Ameriloan, US Fast Cash and One Click Cash, were alleged to have violated Federal truth-in-lending laws. These laws require lenders to establish and communicate borrowing terms accurately to consumers.
Therefore, according to prosecutors, actual charges assessed by Tucker’s companies often were far more than what was described in online disclosures. The excess charges made it impossible for borrowers to meet the payments on their bills.
Tucker, who has raced in a variety of competitions, including the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, was alleged to have spent over $100 on his professional racing team. According to prosecutors, Muir and his attorney allegedly tried to prevent authorities from closing down their operations by entering into sham business arrangements with Native American tribes and claiming that they possessed “tribal sovereign immunity.”