Weird History
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How A Shady Businessman Scammed $2 Billion From Poor People And Used The Money To Drive Race Cars

Updated September 23, 2021 2.3k views11 items

Scott Tucker started his first consumer loan business in 1997, but the operations were hardly legal. His payday loan operation, ran in conjunction with attorney Timothy Muir, scammed billions of dollars from desperate American citizens for more than 15 years.When the misdeeds were uncovered, the mastermind claimed:

I saw myself as being an entrepreneur, a jobs provider, and a contributor to the American economy, [but] I’ve learned that others view me through a different lens. I am very sorry that our leaders castigate me as a villain or some type of predator.

Netflix documentary series Dirty Money exposes Tucker's illegal exploits in the "Payday" episode released in January 2018. Surprisingly, the criminal actually used the stolen money to finance his car-driving hobby. Payday loan scams are nothing new, but Tucker's plan was exceptionally horrific. He created shell corporations and even disguised his crimes by claiming the business was operated by Native American tribes.

  • Blaine Tucker Took His Own Life After The Scheme Was Discovered

    Scott Tucker's brother, Blaine Tucker, was a central part of the business. Blaine illegally signed checks from a tribal bank account, so he and the team could live off payday loan profits.

    The Federal Trade Commission discovered the scam and sued the company in 2012. Blaine was a defendant in the case. However, in 2014, he took his life. One of Scott's friends, racing coach Ed Zabinski, blames the government for Blaine's death. 

  • The Company Faked Weather Reports To Mislead Customers

    Scott Tucker's payday loan center employees were instructed to lie to callers. When asked, workers told customers the office was located in Oklahoma, though it wasn't. Employees couldn't use cellular devices in the building because phone signals might prove the office was actually in Kansas. Moreover, managers emailed customer service representatives Oklahoma weather reports so workers could be knowledgeable if asked.

  • Photo: Level 5 Motorsports / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Scott Tucker Had A Criminal Record Before Starting The Payday Loan Scheme

    Scott Tucker received his first criminal charges in 1988 when he was 26. He lied on an application for a loan from the American Bank of Kansas City and then created a bogus company. The criminal offered a new Porsche as collateral, although the car was no longer in his possession. Tucker also pretended to be the president of investment bank Chase, Morgan, Stearns & Lloyd, collecting over $100,000 in advance fees without actually giving out any loans.

    When discovered, Tucker plead guilty to two felony charges of mail and bank fraud. Another court reprimanded him for writing a bad check. He spent a year in the Leavenworth federal penitentiary. Five years after being released, Tucker started his first payday loan company.

  • He Spent His Ill-Gotten Money On Frivolity

    Scott Tucker earned nearly $400 million from his illegal payday lending operation. He used that money to fund a lavish lifestyle, buying an $8 million vacation home in Aspen, CO, and a Ferrari race car worth $1.3 million. The money also funded Tucker's race car company and a 4,400-square-foot home that nestled against the Hallbrook Country Club in Leawood, KS, and cost $1.8 million.