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The United States Law Week

U.S. Defends Payday Lender’s RICO, Fraud Convictions to Justices

May 27, 2020, 7:15 PM

The federal government urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear a challenge by the “godfather of payday lending” to his fraud and racketeering convictions for funneling high-interest loans through American Indian tribal partnerships.

It was sufficient to prove that Charles Hallinan knew the debts he was collecting were illegal, even without showing he also knew that collecting them was a separate racketeering offense, the government says in court papers filed Tuesday.

Hallinan, who pioneered the “rent-a-tribe” end run around state usury laws capping interest rates, is serving 14 years in federal prison following his 2017 convictions for racketeering, conspiracy,...

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