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Ferraris, homes, jewelry in play in KC payday loan case as judge seeks $3.5 billion

The Kansas City Star — By Steve Vockrodt The Kansas City Star

Feb. 14-- KANSAS CITY-A federal judge appears likely to enter a forfeiture order of $3.5 billion against convicted felon Scott Tucker of Leawood, Kan., as part of his sentence for his illegal payday lending scheme.

A preliminary order entered late Tuesday by U.S. District Court of Southern New York Judge Kevin Castel indicates that $3.5 billion represents the gross proceeds Tucker's payday lending businesses made from 2008 to 2013. A final order is expected later this year.

Tucker was convicted in October of several criminal charges related to a payday lending enterprise that charged exorbitant interest rates and duped consumers with deceptive loan terms. Tucker was the most prominent among several Kansas City businessmen, where payday lending is big business for both lenders and investors for these operations, who made millions from illegal lending enterprises. Some of them have been pursued by regulatory and criminal authorities.

A letter by Tucker's attorney Lee Ginsberg to Castel indicated that he did not object to much of the forfeiture order, but wanted a chance to discuss with Tucker whether they may make a few objections.

Tucker has been in transit between U.S. Bureau of Prisons facilities, first in a detention center in Brooklyn and subsequently in Philadelphia where he has started serving a 16 year, 8 month prison sentence for his crimes.

Tucker is appealing his sentence and conviction.

The preliminary forfeiture order seeks government possession of several of Tucker's bank accounts, several Porsche and Ferrari automobiles, high-priced jewelry and two residential properties owned by Tucker-one in Aspen, Colo., and the other in Leawood near the Hallbrook Country Club.

Prosecutors argued that Tucker's property was obtained with ill-gotten money made through his illegal payday business, which operated largely out of Overland Park.

Tucker's co-defendant, Overland Park lawyer Tim Muir, faces a preliminary $5.2 million forfeiture order. Muir was convicted and will report to prison later this month to begin serving a seven year prison sentence. As an Australian national, Muir also faces the possibility of deportation when his sentence expires.

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