PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today a proposed consent judgment that will require CashCall, Inc., its owner J. Paul Reddam, and a wholly-owned subsidiary, WS Funding LLC, to pay $4.8 million in restitution to Arizona consumers who took out personal loans with interest rates as high as 169 percent, greatly exceeding that allowed under Arizona law.
“Our office will not tolerate unscrupulous lenders preying on vulnerable Arizona consumers,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It is always consumer protection week here, and this case is emblematic of our commitment to hold all companies accountable for any deceptive actions or predatory lending practices.”
In a lawsuit filed in March 2019, the Attorney General's Office (AGO) alleged that CashCall, its subsidiary, and its owner violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by engaging in a scheme, using a South Dakota company with a purported Native American tribal affiliation as a façade for marketing and issuing unlawful, high-interest loans to Arizona consumers. The AGO amended the complaint in May 2020 to allege a second deceptive, high-interest loan scheme it discovered CashCall had implemented shortly after winding down the first scheme in 2016 in the face of regulatory scrutiny.
In addition to providing restitution for consumers who were harmed, the proposed judgment requires defendants to cease all collections and to forgive all outstanding loans. The defendants also are prohibited from engaging in any further lending activities that are not in compliance with Arizona law.
A consumer restitution fund is being established for payment of refunds to eligible consumers. Once the proposed judgment – pending Court approval – is approved, borrowers who are eligible to receive a refund will receive a check in the mail.
The announcement comes during Consumer Protection Week, where the AGO works with local agencies and consumer protection groups to educate consumers about their rights.
Senior Litigation Counsel Laura Dilweg and Joshua Whitaker, Assistant Attorneys General Alyse Meislik and Syreeta Tyrell, Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section Chief Leslie Cooper, and Consumer Litigation Unit Chief Matthew du Mee handled this case.
Copy of consent judgment pending court approval.
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by visiting the Attorney General’s website. If you need a complaint form sent to you, you can contact the Attorney General's Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at (800) 352-8431.