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Pro racecar driver Tucker accused of not reporting income

December 21, 2017

FILE- In this March 19, 2010 file photo, Level 5 Motorsports driver Scott Tucker waits in his Oreca FLM09 on pit row during a break in the morning practice session for the American Le Mans Series' 12 Hours of Sebring auto race in Sebring, Fla. Tucker and his accountant have been indicted on federal charges of failing to report millions in income from a payday lending business that has been ruled fraudulent. The U.S. attorney's office in Kansas said Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 that Tucker is charged with filing a false return and the accountant, W. Brett Chapin, of aiding him. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, File)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Professional racecar driver Scott Tucker and his accountant have been indicted on federal charges of failing to report millions in income from a payday lending business that has been ruled fraudulent.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas said Wednesday that Tucker, 55, of Leawood, Kansas, is charged with filing a false return and the accountant, W. Brett Chapin, 46, of Shawnee, Kansas, of aiding him.

Tucker is accused of orchestrating a sham sale of a payday loan servicing company to the Miami Tribe for $120,000. The indictment says Tucker continued to control the business and a new lending operation, although others were listed as owners.

The indictment says more than $117.5 million in payday lending income was not reported in 2009 and 2010 tax returns. Tucker, a former American Le Mans Series champion, used the payday lending money to fund the Level 5 Motorsports auto racing team.

Two months ago, federal jurors in New York found Tucker and his former lawyer, Timothy Muir, guilty of preying on vulnerable borrowers through a $2 billion payday loan business that charged 700 percent interest or more. Tucker’s lawyers argued that the terms of the loans were known to customers.

That verdict followed a 2016 case in Nevada in which a federal judge ruled that Tucker and others deceived payday loan consumers and owed the Federal Trade Commission about $1.2 billion.

Tucker and Muir face as long as 20 years in prison on the most serious charges in the New York case. Tucker’s payday lending businesses included Ameriloan, Cash Advance, One Click Cash, Preferred Cash Loans, United Cash Loans, US FastCash, 500 FastCash, Advantage Cash Services and Star Cash Processing.

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