Mission Hills residents settle FTC payday loan scheme case as speculation surrounds involvement in St. Ann capital campaign

The Federal Trade Commission this week announced that Tim Coppinger and Frampton “Ted” Rowland, the Mission Hills residents accused of bilking millions of dollars from low income citizens in an online payday lending scheme, had agreed to a settlement.

Under the settlement, Coppinger and his associated companies face redress judgments of approximately $32 million, while Rowland and his companies face redress judgements of approximately $22 million.

“I’m told we expect to collect substantial assets from the defendants,” said FTC spokesman Frank Dorman. “The court froze their bank accounts, and the funds in those accounts will be surrendered as part of the settlement.”

In addition to the funds in the frozen bank accounts, the two will also be required to make additional cash payments.

But it’s what Coppinger and Rowland may have done with with their allegedly ill-begotten money before they were charged that has caught the attention of some people in northeast Johnson County. Both Coppinger and Rowland are involved in the St. Ann Catholic Church community. A St. Ann parishoner tells the Prairie Village Post that both Coppinger and Rowland — along with Steve Zanone, another St. Ann member tied up in payday lending — were involved in efforts to land major donations for the capital campaign launched a few years ago to pay for the new chapel expected to be dedicated next month.

The impact of payday loan money at St. Ann has been the subject of scrutiny since the Pitch ran a lengthy story in December 2013. Jim Fitzpatrick, the former Kansas City Star reporter who now writes at his blog JimmyCSays, does a good job of laying out the latest concerns in his newest post.

St. Ann’s Father Keith Lunsford on Wednesday declined to say whether Coppinger or Rowland had made contributions to the capital campaign, which raised more than $8 million for the new chapel.

“It is our policy not to disclose any financial information on our parishioners since these matters are confidential in nature,” Lunsford said.

But he did explicitly deny that either Coppinger or Rowland had served in formal leadership roles on the capital campaign committee or steering committee.

“I can definitively state that neither individual served those roles or in any other leadership position on the capital campaign,” he said.

Dorman said the FTC had not looked into how Coppinger or Rowland had spent the money from the alleged payday lending schemes.

“We can’t speak to how they spent their money prior to our suit,” he said.