Payday lending enterprise head sentenced to 15 years
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The head of a multimillion-dollar payday lending enterprise accused of evading state regulations by using Native American tribes and a bank as fronts has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $64 million in assets.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 77-year-old Charles Hallinan of Villanova was sentenced Friday on November jury convictions including racketeering, international money laundering, and fraud.
Prosecutors said he charged astronomical interest rates on short-term loans, and the “rent-a-tribe” and “rent-a-bank” scheme netted his companies more than $688 million between 2008 and 2013.
Defense attorney Edwin Jacobs sought house arrest, citing recent cancer diagnoses. But U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno cited efforts to obstruct the investigation and said he had to send the message that crimes like the defendant’s “will not pay.”
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com