On December 16, the Federal Trade Commission filed suit in Kansas federal court against Joel Tucker and the business entities he purportedly controls, alleging that Tucker marketed, distributed, and sold counterfeit debt portfolios that purport to identify consumers who have defaulted on payday loans. 

Specifically, Tucker and his companies allegedly sold spreadsheets to debt collectors that purport to be portfolios of tens of thousands of past-due payday loans, but in reality the identified lenders never made any loans to the identified consumers.  The portfolios list consumers’ names and contact information along with Social Security and financial account numbers.  Those consumers have now purportedly been contacted by various debt collectors demanding repayment of the supposed debts listed in the counterfeit portfolios distributed by Tucker, and some consumers have even been induced to pay the purported debts.

The FTC also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order, seeking to halt Tucker’s distribution and sale of fake payday loans to debt collectors.  A motions hearing was scheduled for December 22.