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'Rent-a-tribe' scheme alleged in class action

SAN JOSE – A class action complaint filed June 11 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges defendant Big Picture Loans LLC engaged in what industry experts called a “rent-a-tribe” scheme to use Native American tribal status to cover higher than allowed interest rates in payday lending operations.

The defendant approached the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Tribe with a business known as Bellicose Capital, according to court documents, which performed underwriting, funding and many other routine operations. Plaintiffs Christine Cumming, Lamesha Kondo, Andrea Mendez and Tammy Wangeline allege the tribe did not have control over the operations of the company.


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