Payday lender guilty on fraud, racketeering charges

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The head of a multimillion-dollar payday lending enterprise has been convicted on federal racketeering conspiracy and fraud charges.

Philly.com reports that 76-year-old Charles Hallinan and his company lawyer were found guilty Monday.

Prosecutors say Hallinan evaded state regulations by using Native American tribes and a bank as fronts so he could charge astronomical interest rates of more than 700 percent on the short-term loans.

Authorities say he preyed on consumers while his businesses took in hundreds of millions of dollars between 2008 and 2013 under names such as Easy Cash, My Payday Advance and Instant Cash USA.

Hallinan's attorney has said his client acted within the law.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in April 2018.