Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Payday lender charged 700 percent interest on loans

08 April 2016, 09:18

Philadelphia — The head of a payday lending enterprise accused of charging more than 700 percent interest on short-term loans was indicted Thursday on federal racketeering charges.

Charles M. Hallinan, 75, led a group that preyed on customers while taking in nearly $700 million from 2008 to 2013, according to the indictment.

Hallinan operated under a string of business names that included Easy Cash, My Payday Advance and Instant Cash USA, and defrauded at least 1,400 customers.

He was released on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty at a brief court hearing Thursday in Philadelphia. His lawyers declined comment on the case.

According to prosecutors, he tried to evade state consumer protection laws by looping in Native American tribes as the supposed lenders so they could claim tribal immunity from state regulations and deflect class-action lawsuits.

Hallinan's companies charged customers about $30 for every $100 they borrowed, costing customers 700 percent interest on an annualized basis, the indictment said.

In Pennsylvania, the law typically caps interest to 6 percent on personal loans, though banks can charge up to 24 percent interest on loans below $25,000, federal authorities said.

They said Hallinan, of Villanova, paid a tribal leader in British Columbia $10,000 a month to pretend that he owned the payday lending enterprise and, amid a class-action lawsuit, to say it had no assets.

Hallinan and co-defendant Wheeler K. Neff also steered at least one other payday lender into a similar tribal agreement, the indictment said. And Hallinan's companies took control of various aspects of the payday lending business, owning firms that also generated leads and performed credit checks, authorities said.

Neff was released on $250,000 bail after his not guilty plea. His lawyers voiced surprise the government would prosecute what they called his legitimate use of the "tribal lending model."

"There are literally dozens of federal and state court cases that support the validity of such a model, including U.S. Supreme Court cases," lawyer Christopher Warren said in a statement.

- AP


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...