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How Did Scott Tucker End Up in Federal Prison?

Scott Tucker, a celebrated racecar driver, participated in racing events like the Ferrari Challenge and the American Le Mans Series. He was also a successful businessman when he wasn’t behind the wheel. But did you know that his business was actually illegal?

Scott Tucker, a businessman and racecar driver ended up in federal prison after setting up illegal high-interest payday loans in some states. He tried transferring ownership to Indian tribes who are exempt from payday loans.

Who is Scott Tucker?

On December 25, 1955, Scott Tucker was born in Kansas, Missouri. Tucker attended Kansas State University and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. Tucker’s early career involved private equity investing in several fields, including real estate, hotels and restaurants, internet technology, financial services, energy, and automotive.

Tucker began his racing career in 2006 while still the chairman of Westfund, a US-based private equity firm. He completed an entire racing season in the Ferrari Challenge. He was fifth place in the Portland International Raceway in Oregon and won third place in the North American race at the World Finals in Monza, Italy.

By his second season in the Ferrari Challenge, Tucker claimed his first win at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. By his third year with the challenge, the businessman formed his team, Level 5 Motorsports, winning six of the thirteen races entered. Tucker finished second place in the final drivers’ standing for that season.

Tucker entered his new team in four Rolex Sports Car Series races the same year. And by 2009, Tucker won the most number of races in the history of the Ferrari Challenge, a total of ten, while his Boardwalk Ferrari team won the Dealer’s Championship.

After multiple victories and partnerships with other renowned drivers in the circuit, Tucker joined the American Le Mans Series in 2010, leading his Level 5 team to multiple victories alongside his teammates. He consequently won the American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year award.

Tucker continued racing until 2014, as several allegations loomed over his businesses. He was arrested in 2016 and is currently serving time in prison. (Source: People Pill)

Tucker and Payday Loans

From at least 1997 until 2013, Tucker offered small, short-term, high-interest, unsecured loans. These loans are commonly known as payday loans all over the internet.

Tucker’s business was run out of offices in Overland Park, Kansas, where he employed as many as 1,500 workers to offer loans using different names such as:

  • Ameriloan
  • OneClickCash
  • United Cash Loans
  • US FastCash
  • 500 FastCash
  • Advantage Cash Services
  • Star Cash Processing

It was discovered that these lending services Tucker offered usually charged 600 to 700 percent interest rates, with some setting more than a thousand percent. More than 4.5 million working-class people were issued loans across all fifty states, where more than 250,000 were from New York. Other states where these loans were issued strictly forbid charging such high-interest rates.

Tucker and his associate, lawyer Timothy Muir, tried hiding their criminal scheme by claiming that the payday loans businesses they ran were owned and operated by Native Americans, who were exempt from payday laws. Tucker and Muir tried forming business relationships with Native American tribes so that they could use the tribe’s bank accounts to launder the money they received from the loans paid to them.

Both Tucker and Muir were found guilty on October 13, 2017. Tucker was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison and Muir, 84 months. (Source: US Department of Justice)

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