A Pennsylvania man faces charges of participating in a racketeering conspiracy for operating a payday lending business that allegedly violated the usury laws of Pennsylvania and other states, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Adrian Rubin, 58, of Jenkintown, Pa., is charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud and aiding and abetting mail fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigatiaon, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service investigated the case.
The criminal complaint offers an account of how, over a 15-year period, Rubin and his associates purportedly sought and sometimes found different ways around state lending rules. The alleged contortions mirror industrywide changes in Internet payday lending.
Between 1998 and 2012, Rubin owned, controlled, financed and/or worked for several businesses that issued payday loans. According to the information unsealed Tuesday, he allegedly conspired with other people to evade state usury laws and other restrictions on payday loans through deceptive practices such as: paying a federally-insured bank, which was not subject to state laws, to pretend that it was the payday lender; relocating his operations to a usury friendly state; and, paying an Indian tribe to pretend that it was the payday lender as part of a scheme to have the tribe claim that "sovereign immunity" voided state usury laws and other regulations.
Rubin and his co-conspirators allegedly went to great lengths to hide Rubins personal involvement in the payday lending business because he had a criminal record, according to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. Rubin, with the knowledge of his co-conspirators, allegedly incorporated his payday businesses in the names of his father-in-law and a family friend and then forged their signatures on company documents. In total, it is alleged that Rubin and his co-conspirators reaped tens of millions of dollars from the defendants payday lending activities, much of which stemmed from the collection of fees that were usurious in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Rubin further was charged with helping his two sons with their own multimillion-dollar telemarketing scam that duped more than 70,000 people into buying a credit card. The Platinum Trust card was falsely marketed as a general-purpose credit card that customers could use to buy merchandise over the Internet and improve their credit. Blake and Chase Rubin pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
If convicted of all charges, Adrian Rubin faces a possible advisory sentencing guideline range of at least 10 years in prison with a statutory maximum sentence of 65 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $1 million and a $400 special assessment.