Former Race Car Driver Sentenced To 17 Years For Illegal Payday Lending

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It's what one gets for stealing $1.3 billion from poor customers.

Scott Tucker, a self-made businessman from Kansas who later became a successful race car driver, has been sentenced to 16 years and 8 months in prison for crimes related to a fraudulent online payday lending business. Tucker earned an estimated $3.5 billion from his illegal venture, which, as it turns out, preyed on the weakest sectors in society. His customers consisted of millions of people who could not obtain loans from banks mainly due to poor credit.

Instead, they found Tucker's payday loans as a supposed solution. However, some customers were charged interest rates between 400 and 700 percent, according to Bloomberg. All they needed was some cash to make ends meet, but they ultimately went online and found one of Tucker's websites. He was also one of the first payday lenders to operate online. Customers were also deceived when the interest was automatically deducted from the balance of the loans. This essentially allowed for the loan's renewal on the customer's next payday. In his defense, Tucker argued that since his business operated on Native American tribal lands, typical finance laws didn't apply.

The judge didn't buy it. Tucker, 55, also had a successful career as a racer, getting behind the wheel in exclusive events such as Le Mans. He also had his own team, Level 5 Motorsports, based in America. Having treated himself to a lavish lifestyle with multiple homes and many Ferraris, he's now off to the slammer and victims' restitution will be determined next month.

Rainier Ehrhardt/AP Images

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