Pennsylvania Record

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Chester man alleges tribe-run online lender charged excessive rates on loan

Federal Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 8, 2019

Philadelphia federal court

PHILADELPHIA – Joseph Wildcat Sr., the president of the Lac Du Flambeau Tribe of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in Wisconsin, is alleged to have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and is now facing a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Isaiah A. Jones III of Chester is leading the class action against Wildcat and other members of the board of directors for Lac Du Flambeau Business Development Corp. over allegations they charged an excessive interest rate on a loan.

“The defendants in this case are a group of individuals who are all believed to play a role in the operation of one or more enterprises that together operate a usury scam that victimized Isaiah Jones III, and other citizens of Pennsylvania with internet loans at interest rates in excess of 600 percent A.P.R.,” the suit states.

Jones alleges that he took out a small loan for his household in November 2017 through RadiantCash, an online lending company owned by the tribe. He alleges LDF Holdings called him to confirm the details of his loan application and RadiantCash approved him for a $400 loan with an interest rate of 690 percent.

The suit states the plaintiff was scheduled to pay back the loan with 14 bi-weekly payments of $110.24. Radiant allegedly set up more than 10 withdrawals for a total of $1,102.40 from the plaintiff's bank account, but the withdrawals were executed by LDF Holdings. Jones alleges he no longer authorized RadiantCash to withdraw the money and the company said Jones defaulted on the loan.

Jones wants the class to include Pennsylvania residents who received consumer loans through LDF Holdings over the last four years at an interest rate that’s larger than 12 percent from lenders who are not authorized by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. Jones asked for damages equal to three times the unlawful debt collected plus attorney’s fees and related legal costs.

Jones is represented by Robert F. Salvin in Bala Cynwyd.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 2:19-cv-02493

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