Jenkintown Payday Lender Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy
PHILADELPHIA—Adrian Rubin, 58, of Jenkintown, PA, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), for the operation of a “payday lending” business that violated the usury laws of Pennsylvania and other states. Rubin also admitted to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and two counts of mail fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo C. Robreno scheduled a sentencing hearing for October 28, 2015. 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.
Between 1998 and 2012, Rubin owned, controlled, financed, and/or worked for multiple businesses that issued short-term loans, commonly known as “payday loans.” Rubin conspired with other people to evade state usury laws and other restrictions on payday loans by engaging in a series of deceptive business practices that included: (a) paying a federally-insured bank, which was not subject to state laws, to pretend that it was the payday lender; (b) relocating his operations to a state considered “usury friendly;” and (c) paying an Indian tribe to pretend that it was the actual payday lender as part of a scheme to have the tribe claim that “sovereign immunity” prevent application of state usury laws and other regulations.
Rubin and his co-conspirators also went to great lengths to hide Rubin’s personal involvement in the payday lending business because he had a criminal record. Rubin, with the knowledge of his co-conspirators, incorporated his payday businesses in the names of his father-in-law and a family friend and then forged the signatures of those people on company documents. In total, Rubin and his co-conspirators reaped tens of millions of dollars from the defendant’s payday lending activities, much of which stemmed from the collection of fees that were usurious in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Rubin also admitted helping his two sons with their own multi-million-dollar telemarketing scam that duped more than 70,000 people into buying a credit card (see, http:/www.justice.gov/usao-edpa/pr/trio-charged-selling-worthless-credit-cards). 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.
This case was investigated by the FBI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and IRS Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mark B. Dubnoff and Joel M. Sweet.