Scott Tucker: ‘Pro race car’ driver arrested on racketeering charges

Updated: February 11, 2016
Scott Tucker: Pro race car driver arrested on racketeering charges

Scott Tucker was arrested by federal agents on racketeering charges related to his online payday lending operations that court documents say generated more than $2 billion.

Scott Tucker, who has competed in a number of SportsCar racing events, faces three counts of conspiracy to collect unlawful debts and five counts of disclosures violations. The indictment said his operation charged interest rates as high as 700 percent and used deceptive and misleading contracts and communications.

Scott Tucker is free on bail after facing a judge at the Robert Dole Federal Courthouse Wednesday.

Tucker’s attorney was also released on bail. He’s accused of helping Tucker set up the business.

According to the indictment, Tucker used nine different businesses and 40 bank accounts in his operation. It said he avoided some state lawsuits by making it look as if Native Americans were running the company.

Scott Tucker is accused of setting up a loan operation where someone would borrow $500 and paying it back could cost up to $1,900.

“I would prefer to call Mr. Tucker a convicted felon, because that’s what he is,” said attorney Dale Irwin, who is familiar with payday loan schemes.

In the 1990s, Tucker was convicted of fraud and sentenced to serve one year in prison. Irwin said cases like the one Tucker is accused of this time are outrageous.

“I suppose it is greed,” Irwin said. “What else can you call it when people ruin peoples’ lives like that?”

He said in Missouri, there’s no limit to the amount of interest a company can charge. He said he represented a woman in one case who borrowed $80 and was forced to pay $19,643.

“He’s not alone,” said Irwin. “This is going on day in and day out in Missouri. There are more payday loan and small lenders than there are McDonalds and Starbucks and Walmarts.”

Sportact Editors and Wire Services