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Payday Loan Tycoon Charged With Bankruptcy Fraud

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After allegedly creating millions of fake debts and selling them to bill collectors, payday loan magnate Joel Tucker was indicted on federal charges. Tucker reportedly raked in $7.3 million from the purported scheme, Bloomberg reported.

“Tucker defrauded third-party debt collectors and millions of individuals listed as debtors through the sale of falsified debt portfolios,” the indictment stated. “These portfolios were false in that Tucker did not have chain of title to the debt, the loans were not necessarily true debts, and the dates, amounts and lenders were inaccurate and in some cases fictional.”

According to the indictment, which was unsealed after Tucker’s arrest in Kansas, he had the ability to conduct the scheme using information obtained from loan applications. For the alleged scheme, Tucker was charged with bankruptcy fraud, falsifying bankruptcy records and interstate transportation of stolen money.

The news comes months after Joel Tucker’s brother, race car driver and Kansas businessman Scott Tucker, was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in jail for crimes associated with his own payday lending business. According to a report in Reuters, the sentencing came down from U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan.

In October, The Wall Street Journal, citing a Manhattan court ruling, reported that a federal jury found Scott guilty of violating federal truth in lending and racketeering laws via dealings in his $2 billion payday lending business. Prosecutors have contended that the payday lending business made more than $3.5 billion by creating illegal partnerships, making predatory loans and preying on millions of consumers in need of money.

In addition to Scott, the jury also convicted 46-year-old Timothy Muir, who was a former lawyer for Scott and also his co-defendant. Muir was sentenced to seven years in jail. While Scott didn’t make any comments during his sentencing, he did refer to a letter he submitted to the court in December, in which he said he was “remorseful” and that he did not “recognize my responsibility to live as a good and fair businessman, employer and American citizen.”

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