A racing driver who used ill-gotten gains through a payday loan program to buy an Aspen home was found guilty by a jury in New York for engaging in predatory loan practices that charged borrowers with interest rates of up to 700 percent.
A US Attorney’s statement for the Southern District of New York said a jury convicted Scott Tucker, 55, on all 14 counts brought against him after a five-week trial in Manhattan. Tucker’s business associate and attorney Timothy Muir, 46, was also convicted of the same charge. Both are from Kansas.
“As a unanimous jury found today, Scott Tucker and Timothy Muir targeted and exploited millions of struggling everyday Americans by illegally charging them high interest rates on payday loans of up to 700 percent,” said the incumbent Manhattan attorney , Joon H. Kim said in a statement released on Friday. “Tucker and Muir tried to get away with their crimes by claiming that this $ 3.5 billion business was actually owned and operated by Indian tribes. But that was a lie. The jury saw through Tucker’s and Muir’s lies and saw their business for what it was – an illegal and predatory scheme to callous vulnerable workers who live from paycheck to paycheck. “
According to published reports, Tucker plans to appeal the verdict.
An LLC controlled by Tucker and his wife Kim bought a 5,498-square-foot Aspen home for $ 8 million in May 2009, according to Pitkin County’s real estate records. Tucker was able to maintain his lavish lifestyle, prosecutors said, by making $ 380 million from his illegal lending business called AMG Services Inc.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Tucker, who competed in the Ferrari Challenge, Rolex Sports Car Series, and American Le Mans Series, could spend up to two decades in jail. According to court records, his hearing on the verdict is scheduled for January.
“The charges of extortion for conspiracy to collect unlawful debts carry up to 20 years in prison each, while violations of the Truth in Lending Act result in one year in prison each,” the Journal reported. “Mr. Tucker, who has a successful side career as a racing driver, could also lose property the government claims to have won from the plans, including Ferrari racing cars and Porsches, a Learjet plane and a vacation home in Aspen, the court said Documents,”
The Internet loan program, which was carried out through the issuing of small, short-term and unsecured loans, lasted at least from 1997 to 2013, the Justice Department said.
The Tucker’s home at 269 Park Ave. was part of the criminal and civil proceedings against Scott Tucker. As part of the trial, in September 2016, a federal judge issued the FTC summary judgment asking Tucker and its affiliates to pay nearly $ 1.3 billion to the commission.
In November 2016, the same judge ordered that the Tucker Controlled Park 269 LLC defaulted on a $ 8 million payment to the FTC under the verdict.
The judge also appointed a court “supervisor” to work with the home rental agent to “manage all rental income paid into the Park 269 account and the only allowable withdrawals from that account as reasonable expenses to be paid by the property management company with the Collaboration of (Scott and his wife Kim Tucker) related to servicing, maintenance and taxes owed by Park 269 LLC, ”the order reads.
The six bedroom, seven bathroom home is currently being offered by Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Aspen for $ 65,000 per month.