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Indian-owned payday lender pays $1.5M fine in New York





An Internet loan firm operated by a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has settled a lawsuit with the state of New York.

Martin Webb, the owner of Western Sky Financial, and his affiliates agreed to pay a $1.5 million fine. The firm also will refund interest payments to consumers in New York.

"With this agreement, thousands of New Yorkers exploited by Western Sky and CashCall will get the relief they are owed,” Attorney General Schneiderman said in a press release. “As individuals in New York and across the country continue to face tough economic times, we must keep up the fight against those who exploit and scam them. Illegal collectors and lenders, in particular, must pay a price for their behavior and pay back the New Yorkers they harmed.”

Western Sky ceased nearly all operations last year after being sued by the state and after facing other legal and regulatory efforts. The firm is not owned by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and has no ties to the tribe.

Get the Story:
Payday Lender Agrees to Fine, Refunds (The Wall Street Journal 1/24)

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Indian loan firm lays off 94 employees amid mounting legal woes (09/04)
New York sues online lender operated by Cheyenne River man (8/13)