It was quite a year for Preyday Lenders. This week we interrupt our regularly scheduled weekly release of a new predator profile with a look back at those we profiled in 2014. We’ll be back next week with a profile of someone we like to call the “legitimate businessman.” You won’t want to miss it.
PATRICK “INSIDE MAN” O’SHAUGHNESSY
OF ADVANCE AMERICA
There is perhaps no more influential payday lender than Advance America’s Patrick O’Shaughnessy. We nicknamed him the “inside man” because he was appointed to a special advisory board within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The same government agency that is currently considering tough new rules to protect hardworking Americans from payday lenders like… O’Shaughnessy. Responding to news of his selection as predator of the week, a PR man for Advance America laughably told one news outlet that O’Shaughnessy would, “ultimately serve consumers’ best interests.” Who knew customers “best interest’ was being trapped in an endless cycle of debt? Read O’Shaughnessy’s full profile here.
KIP “BAD BOY” CASHMORE
OF USA CASH SERVICES
Then there’s the bad boy of payday lending, Kip Cashmore. When we released his predator profile in October, Cashmore wasn’t pleased. He even complained in his local newspaper. It seems we struck a nerve by pointing out that he’d been identified in an investigation of Utah Attorney General John Swallow for donating tens-of-thousands of dollars after Swallow told Cashmore that he would be an ally against regulating the payday lenders. Swallow even thanked Cashmore for his help on Election Day via text message. Is there an emoticon for shady? Read Cashmore’s full profile here.
DARRIN “BOOK BAN” ANDERSEN
OF QC HOLDINGS
Payday lenders say lots of crazy things to rationalize their line of work. Who can forget Darrin “Book Ban” Andersen of QC Holdings? He earned his nickname after telling a reporter that banning payday loans would be comparable to banning books because they both cost consumers money. He was serious too. Read Andersen’s full profile here.
TED “WATERGATE” SAUNDERS
OF COMMUNITY CHOICE FINANCIAL, INC.
Speaking of the crazy things payday lenders say. Our very first profile featured Ted Saunders of Community Choice Financial. Remember him? He’s the predator who equated a supposed federal crackdown on unsavory payday lenders with Watergate and called it “government overreach.” He also equated closing payday lending stores with closing hospitals. You really can’t make this stuff up. Read Saunders’ full profile here.
DENNIS “TROJAN HORSE” BASSFORD
OF MONEY TREE, INC.
Attempting to earn the trust of a victim is one of the calling cards of a predator. Payday lenders are no exception. Take Dennis “Trojan Horse” Bassford for example. He has a history of supporting legislation in Washington State under the guise of regulations that were, in effect, Trojan horses for the industry. What’s more, even with the regulations he backed in place, Washington State officials accused his company of skirting them in 2010. Read Bassford’s full profile here.
IAN “LIFETIME BAN” MACKECHNIE
OF AMSCOT FINANCIAL, INC.
Ian MacKechnie’s nickname says it all. Twelve years after moving his family from Scotland to the United States and starting Amscot Financial, MacKechnie and Amscot were charged with fraud and racketeering. Criminal charges against MacKechnie were reportedly dropped in exchange for his agreeing to a lifetime ban on selling insurance in Florida and Amscot’s guilty plea to civil charges on racketeering. That didn’t stop his business from offering payday loans though. Read MacKechnie’s full profile here.
TRACY “SILVER SPOON” RAWLE
OF CHECK CITY
What is it about payday lenders that scandal seems to lurk behind every corner? Take Tracy Rawle (and his late father) for example. The late Richard M. Rawle was allegedly involved in a scheme to bribe Senator Harry Reid of Nevada in order to kill an FTC investigation of a now-indicted Utah businessman, and also is alleged to have illegally given $17,000 in gold coins to the former Utah Attorney General, who is currently facing numerous felony charges. The younger Rawle, who had that Utah Attorney General on payroll at his payday lending software company, recently attempted to quash a subpoena in connection with the investigation. Read Rawle’s full profile here.
DAN “SUBPRIME” ADAMS
OF THE CAPITAL CORPORATION
Payday lenders are often involved in other unsavory business practices. C. Dan Adams of The Capital Corporation was also the chairman of the First National Bank of the South. During his tenure, the bank failed and was put in receivership by the FDIC, costing the FDIC $75 million. The bank had been posting losses in the tens of millions while he served as chairman and it admitted to providing subprime home loans that didn’t even meet its own internal underwriting standards. The bank’s financials were so bad that its application to receive bailout funds from the federal government was denied. Read Adams’ full profile here.
DONALD “BAD BOSS” GAYHARDT
OF TIGER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Sometimes payday lenders are just as horrible to their employees as they are to their customers. Donald “Bad Boss” Gayhardt’s employees purportedly received nearly $6 million in a class action suit settlement against Dollar Financial over alleged violations of wage-and-hour laws. Under Gayhardt, Dollar Financial also faced a lawsuit from an employee alleging they did not provide meal and rest breaks. Read Gayhardt’s full profile here.