Tim Muir, an Overland Park lawyer serving a prison sentence to help Payday loan mogul Scott Tucker builds his vast and illegal business, had hoped to get out of prison while judges consider the appeal against his conviction.
But on Wednesday, the New York judge who sentenced Muir to 84 months in prison last year rejected the request, saying Muir’s appeal “does not raise a substantial question of fact or law.”
As a result, Muir, 47, will remain behind bars at Moshannon Valley Correctional Facility in Philipsburg, Pa., Where he is expected to remain locked up until April 1, 2024.
Muir was tried and sentenced alongside Tucker in 2017 after the couple, along with many others, built a payday lending empire that federal prosecutors say has grown into a A $ 2 billion company that has exploited 4.5 million customers with deceptive loan terms and usurious interest rates of around 700%.
Payday loans are short-term loans given to people who usually cannot get credit elsewhere and have to pay higher interest rates to protect themselves against the possibility that they cannot repay. The industry says it’s the only way low-income Americans can get credit in an emergency, while critics counter that loans often trap borrowers in endless debt cycles.
Tucker, who funded his career as a professional race car racer with the fortune he earned from payday loans, was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison.
Muir was the general counsel for one of Tucker’s businesses, AMG Services, which was at the heart of their payday loan business. Muir, who was arrested and charged in February 2016, was accused of helping orchestrate bogus relationships between Tucker’s payday loan companies and Native American tribes that cannot be regulated by state interest rate laws.
In Muir’s call, that he wrote and filed himself, he claimed that errors in the trial judge’s instructions to the jury and problems with his convictions under the Truth In Lending Act deprived him of a fair trial and had a good chance of bringing about a court of appeal to set aside the convictions or order a new trial. Tucker is also handsome.
Judge Kevin Castel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday noted in his order that Muir was unlikely to run on bail. But Castel has not determined that Muir’s appeal was compelling enough to offer the rare possibility of bail for a prisoner while an appeal is under consideration.
Muir, from Australia, will likely be deported when his sentence expires, Castel’s ruling.