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Scott Tucker (born May 5, 1962 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American convicted racketeer, former businessman and amateur racing driver.

Scott Tucker
ScottTuckerRaceCarDriver.jpg
Tucker in 2010
BornMay 5, 1962 (1962-05-05) (age 57)
NationalityAmerican
Criminal statusIn prison
Conviction(s)mail fraud, making false statements to a bank (1991); racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, Truth In Lending Act violation (2017)
Criminal penalty1 year (1991); 16 years, 8 months (2017)
Imprisoned atLeavenworth 1991-1992
Scott Tucker
Years active2006-2014
Car no.055, 95
Former teamsKolles, Kelly Moss Motorsports, Hope Financial Racing, Level 5 Motorsports
Wins101
Previous series
United SportsCar Championship, IMSA Lites, GT3 Cup, SCCA, American Le Mans Series, Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, KONI Challenge Series,
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years2010 - 2013
TeamsKolles
Level 5 Motorsports
Best finish10th (2011)
Class wins0

In 2001, Tucker founded an online business, AMG Services, that made payday loans even in states where these high-interest, low-principal loans were restricted or illegal. The business, which generated over $3.5 billion in revenue from just 2008 to June 2013,[1] ultimately made loans to at least 4.5 million Americans.[1] When state regulators tried to shut down his operations, Tucker made deals with Native American tribes to claim ownership of his business and invoke sovereign immunity from state courts.[2] In February 2016, Tucker was arrested and indicted on federal criminal charges filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in relation to his ownership and controlling role in various payday lending operations that were found to have charged illegal interest rates in violation of RICO and TILA statutes.[3][4] Tucker was convicted of making illegal payday loans and of racketeering in October 2017; he is currently serving a sentence of 16 years and 8 months in federal prison.[1]

Tucker began his racing career in 2006, most notably competing in the American Le Mans Series and United SportsCar Championship for his Level 5 Motorsports.[5][6]

The story of Tucker's fall from grace is chronicled in the second episode of the Netflix series Dirty Money entitled "Payday".[7]

Contents

CareerEdit

Racketeering, business and payday loan careerEdit

In 1991, Tucker was convicted of three felony charges, including mail fraud and making false statements to a bank. One of the charges stemmed from a bogus lending company Tucker ran called Chase, Morgan, Stearns & Lloyd that charged businesses advanced fees for loans that were never delivered. He was imprisoned for a year at Leavenworth federal prison.[8]

Tucker was CEO of AMG Services, a payday loan company that was found to charge undisclosed and inflated fees and used tribal entities in an attempt to violate state lending laws.[9][10]

In April 2012, the Federal Trade Commission filed a civil suit against AMG Services, Scott Tucker and others alleging that AMG engaged in illegal business tactics.[11] In May 2014, a U.S. grand jury subpoenaed AMG Services as part of a criminal probe conducted by the office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, reportedly looking at possible violations of statutes covering wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering.[12]

In September 2016, a federal district judge ordered Tucker and other defendants to pay a record judgment of $1.266 billion for "deceiving consumers across the country and illegally charging them undisclosed and inflated fees".[10] Tucker was also banned from the consumer-lending business. In January 2015, AMG Services and MNE Services Inc. agreed to settle charges with the Federal Trade Commission by paying a $21 million fine as well as waiving an additional $285 million in charges that were assessed but not collected.[13][14]

In February 2016, Tucker was indicted and arrested for various criminal violations under RICO and TILA statutes for acts related to his involvement in a number of payday lending operations.[15] On October 13, 2017, Tucker was convicted of making illegal payday loans and racketeering.[16]

Tucker was indicted in December 2017 for filing a false tax return. The US Attorney for Kansas alleges that Tucker created a sham sale of his payday loan business to the Miami Indian tribe of Oklahoma for $120,000 while he continued to control the business. The indictment alleges Tucker failed to report more than $117.5 million in income in 2009 and 2010. Tucker's tax accountant was also indicted.[17]

Tucker is estimated to have earned $380 million from his payday loan organization, which exploited Native American sovereign immunity laws as a loophole through which to offer payday loans in states in which they are illegal. Operating under names including Ameriloan, Cash Advance, One Click Cash, United Cash Loans, and 500 FastCash, Tucker's organization employed approximately 600 people and made loans with terms that included renewals and fees, as well as interest rates as high as 700% per year. The majority of these loans were issued to low-income individuals.[18]

Blaine and Joel Tucker, his brothers, were also involved in payday lending and faced criminal charges for their activities. Blaine Tucker committed suicide in 2014, while Joel Tucker received a $4 million civil penalty from the Federal Trade Commission for selling fake payday loan portfolios to debt collectors.[18][19]

Scott Tucker's organizations ceased operation after he and his lawyer Timothy Muir were indicted in federal court in Manhattan. They were convicted on 14 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering, and Truth In Lending Act offenses on October 13, 2017.[18][19][1]

Tucker's story is told in the documentary series Dirty Money on Netflix (Season 1, Episode 2). In the episode, Tucker sat for lengthy interviews with director Jesse Moss, portraying himself as a victim of overzealous government lawyers.[20]

Tucker is serving a sentence of 16 years 8 months, and his lawyer Tim Muir is serving a sentence of 7 years.[1] Tucker's inmate number is 06133-045 and he is scheduled for release from prison on June 27, 2032.[21]

Racing careerEdit

Tucker used money from his payday lending business to fund his exploits as an amateur race car driver.[22][23]

Ferrari ChallengeEdit

In 2006, he completed a full season in the Ferrari Challenge. His first race in March at Homestead-Miami Speedway was his third event as a sports car driver. His best result was a fifth-place finish at Portland International Raceway in Oregon. He won third place in one of two North American races at the World Finals in Monza, Italy. In 2007, Tucker participated in his second full season in the Ferrari Challenge, claiming his first career win in May at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

In 2008, Tucker developed Level 5 Motorsports entering the Ferrari Challenge Series as a new team owner and driver. As driver of the new team, he won six of the 13 races entered, finishing second overall in the final drivers' standings. In the same year, Tucker expanded his and Level 5 Motorsports racing circuit by entering the team in four Rolex Sports Car Series races in a Ferrari V8 Crawford GT with Ed Zabinski.[24] In 2009, Tucker won 10 races, the most in Ferrari Challenge history. His Boardwalk Ferrari team won the Dealer's Championship.

Rolex Sports Car SeriesEdit

 
Scott Tucker in a Ferrari Crawford GT

Scott Tucker began competing in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in a partial season during the year 2007. In 2008, Scott Tucker debuted in the Rolex 24 at Daytona driving a TRG Grand-Am GT Porsche in the Rolex Series driving with Ed Zabinski, Jack Baldwin, Martin Ragginger and Claudio Burton. The team finished 28th in class due to an engine failure in the 20th hour of the event. After the Rolex 24, Tucker entered Level 5 Motorsports in 3 additional races with Ed Zabinski in the Rolex Series.[25]

In 2009, he teamed up with French sports car driver Christophe Bouchut and earned a career best finish of third at Watkins Glen International.

 
Tucker with co-drivers Richard Westbrook, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Lucas Luhr at Daytona

Tucker drove both cars at Homestead-Miami Speedway, teaming up with Bouchut in the No. 55 car. In 2010, Tucker added four-time Champ Car World Series champion Sébastien Bourdais, Richard Westbrook, Sascha Maassen, Lucas Luhr, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Emmanuel Collard to his team for the 48th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Tucker and Level 5's progress through the race was part of a documentary entitled Daytona Dream.[26] The documentary was produced by Drive Digital Media, a venture Scott Tucker was an investor in.[27]

American Le Mans SeriesEdit

Tucker competed in the American Le Mans Series in 2010 alongside his campaign in the Rolex Sports Car Series, this time entered in the spec racing Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class. As in Rolex, Tucker divides driving duties between both Level 5 cars. Tucker, along with Bouchut and new teammate Mark Wilkins, won the 12 Hours of Sebring in the LMPC category. The trio went on to win three further races during the season, at Laguna Seca, Miller, and Mid-Ohio. Tucker won the LMPC class championship and was named the American Le Mans Series Rookie of the Year.

Moving into the LMP2 category for 2011, Tucker and his Level 5 Motorsports obtained a new Lola-Honda prototypes. Tucker was part of the winning team in the 12 Hours of Sebring. Due to a lack of competitors in LMP2 class of the American Le Mans Series, Level 5 concentrated on the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup rounds in Europe.

Tucker and Level 5 returned Stateside and won three end-of-season American Le Mans Series races, including the Petit Le Mans with its new HPD ARX-01g.

In 2012, Tucker and Level 5 embarked on a full-season campaign in the ALMS P2 category with two new HPD ARX-03bs. Tucker scored 8 class wins to claim the 2012 P2 championship.

In 2013, Tucker went on to claim his fourth ALMS drivers' championship after scoring eight class wins in ten races.[28]

United SportsCar ChampionshipEdit

Tucker won the 2014 Daytona 24 Hours in the GT Daytona class in the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 with co-drivers Jeff Segal, Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and Alessandro Pier Guidi, despite the car having initially been handed a penalty for deemed late-race avoidable contact. IMSA reversed the call more than four hours after the race, declaring the No. 555 car the winners in GTD.[29] The Daytona win came on the 60th anniversary of Ferrari racing in America.[30]

24 Hours of Le MansEdit

Tucker and Level 5 teammate Christophe Bouchut were able to join the driver line-up of the German Kolles team for the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving one of two diesel-powered Audi R10 TDIs. The two, joined by Frenchman Manuel Rodrigues, failed to finish the race.

In 2011, Tucker scored his first career Le Mans podium result, combining with co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and João Barbosa in Level 5 Motorsports' Lola B11/80 Honda Coupe for a third-place finish in LMP2. The result came in Level 5's debut race as an entrant in the race.[31]

In 2012, Tucker competed in LMP2 and finished 14. His team finished 13th in LMP2 during the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans.

SCCAEdit

In 2012, Tucker was the national title holder in the D Sports Racing driving a West, claiming the SCCA record lap at Road America with a time of 1:58.997.[32] West Race Cars was purchased by Level 5 in 2011, and significant resources and money were expended by Level 5 to build the record-breaking car.[33]

Racing recordEdit

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2010   Kolles
  Level 5 Motorsports
  Manuel Rodrigues
  Christophe Bouchut
Audi R10 TDI LMP1 182 DNF DNF
2011   Level 5 Motorsports   Christophe Bouchut
  João Barbosa
Lola B11/80-HPD LMP2 319 10th 3rd
2012   Level 5 Motorsports   Christophe Bouchut
  Luis Díaz
HPD ARX-03b LMP2 240 DNF DNF
2013   Level 5 Motorsports   Ryan Briscoe
  Marino Franchitti
HPD ARX-03b LMP2 242 NC NC

Personal lifeEdit

Tucker grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and went to Rockhurst High School.[34] He studied business administration at Kansas State University. Tucker is married to his wife Kim and has two daughters.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Scott Tucker Sentenced To More Than 16 Years In Prison For Running $3.5 Billion Unlawful Internet Payday Lending Enterprise". US Department of Justice. January 5, 2018.
  2. ^ Heath, David (September 26, 2011). "Payday lending bankrolls auto racer's fortune". Center for Public Integrity.
  3. ^ "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Charges Against Owner Of, And Attorney For, $2 Billion Unlawful Internet Payday Lending Enterprise". United States Department of Justice. February 10, 2016.
  4. ^ "Pro racecar driver Scott Tucker charged with payday loans". ABC news. Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ Baime, A.J. (July 29, 2010). "Racing's One-in-a-Million Story: After taking up the sport just four years ago, a 48-year-old American makes history at Le Mans". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ "ALMS: Scott Tucker's Bucket List". auto-racing.speedtv.com.
  7. ^ "Dirty Money". Netflix. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Heath, David. "Race car driver Scott Tucker drew an elaborate facade around his payday loan businesses". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Armen Keteyian (September 26, 2011). "How "payday" lenders pull off crippling rates". cbsnews.com. CBS News. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  10. ^ a b "U.S. Court Finds in FTC's Favor and Imposes Record $1.3 Billion Judgment Against Defendants Behind AMG Payday Lending Scheme". Federal Trade Commission. October 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "FTC Charges Payday Lending Scheme with Piling Inflated Fees on Borrowers and Making Unlawful Threats when Collecting". Federal Trade Commission. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Raymond, Nate (May 5, 2014). "Payday lender AMG Services subpoenaed in criminal probe". The Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Online Payday Lending Companies to Pay $21 Million to Settle Federal Trade Commission Charges that They Deceived Consumers Nationwide". Federal Trade Commission. January 15, 2015.
  14. ^ http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/150116amgorder.pdf
  15. ^ "United States of America vs Scott Tucker and Timothy Muir Sealed Indictment 16CRIM091". United States District Court Southern District of New York. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  16. ^ "Payday lender Scott Tucker of Leawood convicted of illegal payday loans, racketeering". The Kansas City Star. October 13, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  17. ^ "Indictment: Scott Tucker Failed to Report Millions in Income". Department of Justice. December 20, 2017.
  18. ^ a b c Vockrodt, Steve (October 13, 2017). "Payday lender Scott Tucker of Leawood convicted of illegal payday loans, racketeering". The Kansas City Star.
  19. ^ a b Faux, Zeke (December 6, 2017). "Millions Are Hounded for Debt They Don't Owe. One Victim Fought Back, With a Vengeance". Bloomberg News.
  20. ^ "Payday". Netflix. January 26, 2018.
  21. ^ "Inmate Locator". www.bop.gov. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  22. ^ Vockrodt, Steve (October 13, 2017). "Payday lender Scott Tucker of Leawood convicted of illegal payday loans, racketeering". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  23. ^ "2015 FIA Driver Ratings" (PDF). Retrieved March 6, 2019. Tucker, Scott: Silver
  24. ^ "Scott Tucker News". News.speedtv.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  25. ^ "Scott Tucker Bio". grand-am.com. GRAND-AM Road Racing. Archived from the original on November 8, 2011.
  26. ^ "Daytona Dream". IMDB.
  27. ^ "KC Magazine gave payday-lending magnate Scott Tucker all the good press his money could buy".
  28. ^ "Champions in Five Classes - 2013 ALMS". Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  29. ^ DiZinno, Tony. "Level 5 Wins Rolex 24 in GTD after Penalty Overtuned". Retrieved February 17, 2014.
  30. ^ "Ferrari in America at 60: Racing highlights, 1993-2014". AutoWeek.com. AutoWeek. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  31. ^ "AUTO RACING - LE MANS: Audi Wins Le Mans Thriller". Auto-racing.speedtv.com. June 12, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
  32. ^ "Scott Tucker claims two titles, turns record lap in SCCA runoffs at Road America". AutoWeek. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  33. ^ "Dinner with Racers: The Level 5 Special".
  34. ^ "American Indian tribes used by convicted payday lender Scott Tucker settle with feds". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved June 28, 2018.

External linksEdit