FTC returns over $505 million to victims of payday loan scheme
The Federal Trade Commission, working jointly with the Department of Justice, is mailing 1,179,803 refund checks totaling more than $505 million to people who were deceived by AMG Services, Inc. and Scott A. Tucker, who operated a massive payday lending scheme. Tucker's companies, including AMG Services, Inc., marketed online payday loans with false loan disclosures that did not accurately describe the true cost of the loans. Despite informing customers that they would charge them only a one-time finance fee, they proceeded to make multiple withdrawals from customers’ bank accounts, assessing a new finance fee each time. As a result, consumers paid far more for the loans than they had originally agreed to pay.
The FTC won a civil judgment against Tucker and related defendants in September 2016. In 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York obtained a criminal conviction against Tucker and his attorney, Timothy Muir, and in 2018, obtained a sentence of 16 years in prison for Tucker, and a penalty of $528 million against U.S. Bancorp for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, including failing to timely report suspicious banking activities of Tucker. The US Attorney’s Office also obtained additional settlements with three Native American tribes involved in the operation, resulting in over $50 million recovered.
The FTC and the administrator have used the defendants’ business records from January 2008 through January 2013 to identify consumers and calculate their refund amounts, so it is not necessary for these consumers to contact the FTC to make claims. Consumers who borrowed from one of the listed portfolios before January 2008 and have documentation of the loan or other consumers who have questions should call 1-866-730-8147.
The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or provide information to cash refund checks.
Recipients should deposit or cash checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check.