A federal judge in New York sentenced Kansas City businessman Scott Tucker to 16 years and eight months in prison on Friday after his sentence last year on a series of racketeering charges stemming from his payday loan empire.
“What I see here is a plan to extract money from people in desperate circumstances,” said US District Judge P. Kevin Castel before sentencing, pointing to Mr. Tucker’s portrayal of himself as a businessman. honest. “Don’t give me the nonsense that you were transparent, that you acted in the light of day.”
Timothy Muir, a former attorney for Mr. Tucker’s company who was convicted as a co-defendant in the case, was sentenced to seven years for his role in the business, which prosecutors argued at trial it was a 17-year criminal scheme built on illegal partnerships and predatory loans. Millions of Americans borrowed through the company, with interest rates as high as 700%, prosecutors said.
Lee Ginsberg, Tucker’s attorney, said they would appeal the verdict and sentence. In pre-sentencing submissions, Mr. Tucker’s attorneys had advocated a sentence of no more than 15 years.
Thomas J. Bath, Mr. Muir’s attorney, said they intended to appeal the verdict. At the sentencing hearing, Mr. Bath requested a sentence of no more than seven years for his client.