The day of reckoning has apparently come for former American Le Mans driver Scott Tucker.
A federal judge in New York sentenced Tucker on Friday to 16 years and 8 months in prison for crimes federal prosecutors say are related to predatory payday lending, according to a report by racer.com. The 55-year-old Tucker was taken into custody immediately after Judge Kevin Castel delivered his ruling.
“For more than 15 years, Scott Tucker and Timothy Muir made billions of dollars exploiting struggling, everyday Americans through payday loans carrying interest rates as high as 1,000 percent,” said acting deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joan Loughnane in a written statement.
Muir, Tucker’s attorney, was sentenced to 7 years for his role as an accomplice. Prosecutors say Tucker and Muir tried to hide ownership of the payday lending businesses by setting them up so they looked to be owned by Native American tribes on tribal land.
This is not the end but probably the beginning of many more court appearances for Tucker. He has been indicted for failing to report $42.5 million from his payday loan business on his 2008 tax return and another $75 million on his 2011 return. In 2016, a federal judge in Nevada found Tucker guilty of deceiving payday lending customers and owing to the Federal Trade Commission about $1.2 billion.
Apart from a career as a professional race car driver, Tucker also owned and operated Level 5 Motorsports, which competed in Le Mans, the Ferrari Challenge, and Sports Car Club of America. His lawyers say they will appeal the judge’s ruling.