Aspen homeowner sentenced to 200 months in prison for predatory lending scheme

Staff report

A predatory lending scheme has resulted in a 200-month prison sentence for Aspen homeowner Scott Tucker, authorities said Friday.

U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel also sentenced co-defendant Timothy Muir, an attorney, to 84 months in prison.

“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,” acting Deputy U.S. Attorney Joan Loughnane said in a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. “And to hide their criminal scheme, they tried to claim their business was owned and operated by Native American tribes. But now Tucker and Muir’s predatory business is closed and they have been sentenced to significant time in prison for their deceptive practices.”

The jail sentences were delivered after a jury in New York in October found Tucker, 55, of Leawood, Kansas, guilty of engaging in predatory lending practices. Muir, 46, of Overland Park, Kansas, was convicted of the same charges.

Tucker used some of his ill-gotten gains to buy, with his wife, a 5,498-square-foot Aspen home for $8 million in May 2009, according to Pitkin County property records. Tucker was able to sustain his lavish lifestyle, prosecutors said, by making $380 million through his illegal lending business called AMG Services Inc.

Judge Castel described the crimes as “a scheme to extract money from people in desperate circumstances” that “created heartbreak and sorrow … not just a financial loss.”