Bryan Cohen Jul. 19, 2013, 8:55pm

RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) -- Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a lawsuit Thursday against an Internet payday lender that allegedly made illegal loans to Virginians without a valid payday loan license.

Jupiter Funding Group LLC allegedly charged interest rates on its payday loans that ranged between 438 percent annually for a 25-day loan and 1,369 percent annually for an eight-day loan.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission requires that every payday loan lender obtain a license prior to conducting business in Virginia. Without a license, lenders may charge no more than 12 percent annual interest on a loan.

Jupiter Funding allegedly made loans to Virginians through its website starting on Jan. 13, 2010, through the present without the required license.

"Jupiter Funding has preyed on Virginia consumers by making high-interest rate loans over the internet without any regulatory oversight," Cuccinelli said in a statement. "My office will continue to aggressively pursue those who violate Virginia's consumer lending laws."

The attorney general's lawsuit requests that the court stop Jupiter Funding from violating payday loan laws and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act and stop the company from collecting interest over Virginia's legal limit of 12 percent.

The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties of $2,500 for each violation of the VCPA and consumer reimbursement of certain interest paid.

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