The fallout from Scott
Tucker's illegal payday loan business continued
on Tuesday with two American Indian tribes that
Tucker used as cover to skirt state usury laws
reaching settlement agreements with federal
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern
District of New York announced on Tuesday that the
Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma and the Santee Sioux Tribe
of Nebraska admitted that Tucker set up his payday
lending businesses on tribal lands but that the
tribes themselves had no meaningful role in the
Both tribes also acknowledged as part
of the settlement that Tucker used the tribes as a
way to sidestep state usury laws — American Indian
tribes answer only to the federal government, which
doesn't have a usury statute for payday loans — and
that his businesses operated out of Overland Park.
The admissions contradict claims by
Tucker that the tribes ran the payday loan
enterprises and that he was merely an employee.
Tucker was convicted of several
criminal charges in 2017 stemming from a $2 billion
payday loan scheme that charged illegal interest
rates in excess of 700 percent, deceived borrowers
on repayment terms and laundered the proceeds though
bank accounts held by the tribes but controlled by
Tucker, a 56-year-old Kansas Citian
who graduated from Rockhurst High School and later
funded a professional race car team with proceeds
from payday lending, is
serving a 16-year, eight-month prison sentence.
Tucker's attorney, Timothy Muir, was
also convicted of the same charges and is serving a
seven-year prison sentence. Muir, an Australian
citizen, faces deportation when his prison sentence
The Modoc Tribe, where Tucker
established a payday lender called Red Cedar
Services, agreed to forfeit $2 million to the
federal government. The Santee Sioux Tribe, where
Tucker established another payday lender called
Santee Financial Services, forfeited $1 million.
Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, said he expects
to send more than $500 million recovered from
Tucker's payday loan enterprises to the Federal
Trade Commission, which will then send that back to
victims of Tucker's scheme.
The Federal Trade Commission sued
Tucker and his businesses in 2012, resulting
in a judge's ruling that Tucker and others pay a
$1.3 billion penalty, the largest
figure ever obtained for the FTC in a litigated case.
"We are very pleased that the Justice
Department was able to recover this money in
connection with its criminal and civil cases, and
that we can help by returning it to consumers," FTC
chairman Joseph Simons said in a written statement.
Tucker's illegal activities have
borne consequences for many others tied to his
The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, which
housed other Tucker payday loan businesses,
forfeited $48 million to the federal government in
2016, the same year Tucker was indicted by a grand
U.S. Bancorp, the holding company for
U.S. Bank, agreed
to pay $613 million to the federal government as
a result of its lax anti-money laundering protocols,
which were exposed by an investigation into Tucker's
business. Banks are expected to monitor for and
report signs of suspicious and illegal banking
practices, which investigators said U.S. Bank failed
to do with respect to its accounts for Tucker.
Brett Chapin, a Shawnee tax
criminal charges of helping Tucker prepare tax
returns that allegedly failed to report millions
in income from Tucker payday lending business.
Tucker is a co-defendant in that case, which was
brought by the U.S. Attorney in Kansas. Both men
have pleaded not guilty in that case, which is
"Today's settlements with two of
those tribes will add $3 million to the hundreds of
millions already recovered — from Tucker, from U.S.
Bancorp, and from a non-prosecution agreement with a
third native American tribe — to compensate Tucker's
millions of victims," Berman said in a statement.