New York Prosecutors Charge Payday Loan Firms with Usury

New York Times
Monday, August 11, 2014

An investigation by New York State Prosecutors has culminated with criminal charges against a dozen companies and their owner, Carey Vaughn Brown. Prosecutors accuse Brown and his companies of enabling payday loans that flouted the state’s limits on interest rates. They allege that Brown assembled “a payday syndicate” that controlled every facet of the loan process. The operation began when borrowers applied for loans on websites like From there, borrowers’ information was passed to another company that originated the loans. The information then wound up with yet another company that collected payments from borrowers. The companies were all owned by Brown, who registered the businesses overseas or in states like Nevada, which have light regulations and modest record-keeping requirements.