Pennsylvania judge allows lawsuit against financial company's 'rent-a-tribe' scheme to continue

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 12, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Legal Newsline) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Feb. 5 that a federal judge has allowed the core of Shapiro’s lawsuit against Victory Park Capital Advisors LLC to continue.

According to Shapiro, Victory Park was involved with Think Finance in a “rent-a-tribe” scheme. It allegedly hid behind the guise of a Native American tribe to shield itself from state and federal laws.

“These defendants used a Native American tribe as a front to evade state consumer protection laws and charge higher payday loan interest rates than allowed under Pennsylvania law,” Shapiro said in a statement. “We filed suit to hold them accountable, we’re pleased with the court’s ruling and now our case moves forward.”

Victory Park argued the company did no business in Pennsylvania and therefore Pennsylvania courts held no jurisdiction and the allegations should be dismissed. The judge in the case, U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner, disagreed and denied most of the motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Shapiro’s office will continue with the case.

“It’s my job to enforce Pennsylvania’s consumer protection laws and protect consumers from these kinds of schemes,” Shapiro said in the statement. “They sought to do an end-run around our laws – and we sued to stop them.”

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