Va. attorney general files lawsuit over fraudulent 'pension sales' to veterans, elderly

By LISA VERNON SPARKS | Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) | Published: March 7, 2018


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has sued two companies for allegedly making high-cost illegal loans to defraud as many as 650 Virginia residents including elderly veterans and public servants, according to a complaint filed Wednesday in Hampton Circuit Court.

Named as defendants in the suit are Future Income Payments LLC, based in Delaware; FIP LLC, based in Nevada; and owner Scott Kohn.

FIP targeted Virginia pensioners — often elderly veterans with military pensions and public servants with pensions through the Virginia Retirement System — with illegal loans disguised as "sales" that could provide purchasers with a quick lump sum of cash, according to Herring’s suit.

The lawsuit alleges that the company acted between June 2011 and June 2017, made more than 950 illegal loans and actively advertised and solicited as many as 650 pensioners in Virginia, concentrated in the Hampton Roads area with its significant veteran population.

Herring’s complaint also says the company allegedly made illegal loans carrying interest rates as high as 183 percent and engaged in lending practices that violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

FIP violated the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by misrepresenting that it was "buying" portions of Virginia pensioners' monthly pension payments when it was actually making high-cost installment loans with interest rates that far exceeded the applicable 12 percent annual interest cap mandated by Virginia law, according to the lawsuit.

"These companies and their owner took advantage of Virginians who earned their pensions through years of dedication to our nation's armed forces and as civil servants,” Herring said. “These men and women served our Commonwealth and our country, and they deserve better than to have their life savings drained by an illegal, but cleverly disguised, predatory loan.”

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