Johnson County businessman Joel Jerome Tucker – already facing a $ 4 million Federal Trade Commission judgment – has been charged with 15 counts relating to his lending business on salary.
The indictment also asks Tucker to forgo $ 7.3 million in ill-gotten gains. A Kansas City federal grand jury indicted Tucker on June 5. The document was released to the public on Friday in Kansas City U.S. District Court.
Tucker did not make any payday loans. Instead, he sold leads to payday lenders.
In 18 pages, the indictment described two schemes in which Tucker allegedly created portfolios of bogus payday loans to sell to debt collectors. Collectors hunted down the consumers named in the bogus loans so much that some paid them back.
As part of the other scheme, two of Tucker’s wallets held bogus loans to 14,403 already bankrupt consumers, according to the indictment. He provided buyers with not only the names and loan information, but also the district where the bankruptcy was filed and the name of the bankruptcy trustee in the case.
The buyers then filed claims in the bankruptcy cases, expecting at least partial payment once the bankruptcy proceedings were completed.
Tucker’s scheme collapsed, according to the indictment, when bankruptcy trustees “across the country” began challenging a lender’s payday loans and a judge investigated.
US bankruptcy judge Marvin Isgur in Houston had ordered Tucker to appear in court.
The indictment accuses Tucker of repeatedly lying to the judge, filing a false statement in his court, destroying a computer against retention orders and even lying while being filmed by a bankruptcy trustee.
At one point, Isgur ordered Tucker’s detention after providing “incredible” evidence on the loans.
The judge then ordered Tucker to produce proof of the loans, but Tucker said he had to retrieve it from a computer at his Kansas City offices.
Released to get the information, Tucker was filmed while removing files from his computer. The lie on camera was that he had retrieved all information, including a key file from the case, although he did not, according to the indictment.
The trip to Kansas City had also been a trick.
“Tucker’s data was on a virtual server, which he could have retrieved from anywhere, including Houston,” the indictment says.
The Kansas City payday loan industry produced the Kansas City company bankrupted that funded payday lenders, indictments against two Native American tribes, a US Bank fine of $ 613 million, jail of another Kansas City payday lender, a controversial decision by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau And one episode of Netflix’s “Dirty Money” series.
Joel Tucker faces 12 counts of interstate transportation of stolen money, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine; two counts of bankruptcy fraud, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine; and one count of falsifying bankruptcy records, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $ 250,000 fine.