Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane sued a Texas loan company on Thursday for allegedly targeting consumers in the state through an illegal Internet-based payday loan scheme.
Payday loans of any kind are illegal in the commonwealth.
The company, which did business using the names Think Finance Inc., TC Loan Services LLC, Elevate Credit Inc., and Financial U LLC, is owned by Kenneth E. Rees.
The suit alleges that the company used three Native American tribes to serve as the apparent lender in the loan scheme and then earned significant revenue from fees that it charged the tribes. Rees' company also allegedly posed as a Pennsylvania-based bank to establish its relationship with the tribes.
Selling Source LLC, an Internet marketing company, was also named in the suit for allegedly generating online leads for high-interest lenders and then referring consumers to Rees' scheme.
The suit alleges that the defendants violated Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the Corrupt Organizations Act, and the Fair Credit Extension Uniformity Act.
Kane is seeking restitution as well as civil penalties and an injunction against both companies named in the suit.