Four men with northeast Johnson County ties have been listed as defendants in federal suits alleging financial improprieties involving online payday loans, with authorities raiding offices in Mission and Prairie Village earlier this month.
Federal authorities have frozen the business and personal accounts of Mission Hills residents Tim Coppinger and Ted Rowland after filing a complaint in federal court Sept. 5 alleging that the two operated a payday loan scheme that bilked more than $46 million from unsuspecting consumers across the country in one 11-month period. According to the story in this week’s issue of The Pitch, federal authorities changed the locks on Rowland’s offices at 7301 Mission in Prairie Village — the building right next door to St. Ann Catholic Church. Both Rowland and Coppinger are involved in the St. Ann Men’s Club; in 2009 and 2010, Rowland served as that group’s treasurer. Coppinger’s long-involvement with the Catholic community in the area has been raising eyebrows this week. His family lends its name to the track at St. Teresa’s Academy.
Authorities also raided the offices of CWB Services LLC — a company the FTC says Coppinger owns — at 6700 Squibb, in Mission.
In a separate complaint, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this month alleged that Richard F. Moseley, Sr., and Richard F. Moseley, Jr. — both with northeast Johnson County ties — were among the owners of the Hydra Group, a company suspected of operating a similar online payday-lending scheme. Moseley, Jr., is a Fairway resident who graduated from SM East in 1987. His mother lives in Prairie Village.
David Hundall’s Pitch story does an excellent job detailing the charges and how the operations supposedly worked — and what the cases are really about:
The FTC and the CFPB haven’t yet indicated how closely they intend to look at the investors who dumped money into these unsavory businesses and at the lawyers who assisted in drafting the loan agreements and setting up dubious offshore business filings.
There likely will be more federal lawsuits, and more finger-pointing and accusations and civil suits among the local payday players. These operations generated significant money for their operators and investors — money they’ll fight to protect.
It’s also money made on the backs of poor people. At their core, these enterprises are designed to drain the bank accounts of low-income American citizens. Maybe Ted Rowland didn’t ask enough questions about Tim Coppinger’s businesses. Maybe Tim Coppinger didn’t ask enough questions of his lead vendors. Maybe. But now the government has taken their things and is asking them questions. It’ll be interesting to hear their answers.