Criminal Docket Number 16cr130
Brief description of the case:
Hallinan owned, operated, financed, and/or worked for more than a dozen businesses between 1997 and 2013 that issued and collected debt from small, short-term loans that were commonly known as “payday loans” because the customers were supposed to pay them back with their next paychecks. Hallinan’s companies allegedly charged customers about $30 for every $100 they borrowed, which meant that the annual interest rates on the loans often exceeded 700 percent. Pennsylvania and more than a dozen other states have passed laws criminalizing such loans as usurious. The indictment alleges that Hallinan and Neff conspired to evade such laws by, among other things, paying thousands of dollars each month to three Indian tribes to pretend that they were the actual payday lenders and claim that “tribal sovereign immunity” shielded their conduct from state laws and regulations.