September 16, 2014
- Another local payday operation nailed by the Feds.
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Tim Coppinger, Ted Rowland and the dozens of shell companies they allegedly used to defraud online payday-loan applicants out of millions and millions of dollars. The FTC filed the suit on September 5, but it was kept under seal until last Friday to allow investigators to halt the businesses and freeze the assets of Coppinger, et al.
Yesterday, a similar lawsuit was unsealed — also by a federal agency, also requiring asset freezes and the appointment of a receiver, and also against Kansas Citians accused of a payday-loan scheme.
This one was filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on September 8. The defendants are Richard F. Moseley; his son, Richard F. Moseley Jr.; Christopher J. Randazzo; and a network of business entities they are said to have used to con U.S. consumers out of money.
The allegations are generally similar in nature to those in the FTC suit against Coppinger and Rowland's businesses. Many of Moseley's businesses (SSM Group, FSR Services, Rocky Oak Services, Hydra Financial, Piggback Online Holdings, and about 15 others) were organized in foreign
countries like New Zealand and the Caribbean island of Nevis. But court documents allege that the scheme was conducted from a three-story office building in Waldo, at 2 East Gregory Boulevard.
More than 1,300 complaints have been filed by consumers against Moseley's businesses since 2010. Some reported receiving an unauthorized deposit into their bank accounts. Some reported being harassed by debt collectors. And some reported consenting to a loan but being targeted with excessive withdrawals. State authorities in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Idaho and Illinois have issued cease-and-desist orders to Moseley's companies since 2011.
As in the FTC-Coppinger suit, investigators pieced together their case by compelling banks to open up their books to the agency. In doing so, the CFPB tracked the byzantine path of money through shell companies and payment processors to US Bank accounts held by the defendants. As of August 31, 2014, $10.6 million was held in holding company accounts controlled by Moseley. "Because of Defendants' ties to Nevis and New Zealand, Defendants are likely to move this money offshore upon notice of this action," CFPB's attorneys wrote in the filing. Hence the asset freeze.
What KC-based usurious lender is up next? Hard to say. There's still a lot of fish left in the pond.
Category: Payday loans