KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City businessman has been found guilty of criminal charges related to a $220 million payday lending operation.

Richard Moseley Sr. was convicted Wednesday in New York of wire fraud, racketeering, aggravated identity theft and other charges stemming from a payday lending business that charged consumers interest rates as high as 700 percent, The Kansas City Star reported .

Moseley ran a group of payday lending businesses known as the Hydra Lenders from 2004 to 2014. He was accused of establishing nominal businesses in New Zealand and in the Caribbean island of Nevis in order to sidestep state usury laws and regulatory investigations, despite his group largely operating out of Kansas City.

Moseley is the third Kansas City man to recently be convicted of running a usurious payday lending business. Scott Tucker and Tim Muir were convicted in New York last month of running a $2 million payday lending enterprise that used indigenous tribes as fronts to charge predatory interest rates. Tucker and Muir are awaiting sentencing.

The three criminal convictions, in addition to recent civil enforcement actions against several others locally, have put Kansas City in the spotlight in regards to the payday lending industry.

Adam Perlmutter, a New York attorney representing Moseley, said they are disappointed and plan “a vigorous appeal.”

“The law in the area was completely unsettled at the time alleged in the indictment,” he said. “We believe the U.S. attorney’s office pursued prosecution in a manner that fundamentally violated Mr. Moseley’s right to due process, and hope to rectify that gross injustice in a higher court.”

Moseley’s sentencing is April 27. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the four most serious charges for which he was convicted.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com