St. Louis Record

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Attorney convicted in payday loan scam suspended

Discipline

By Karen Kidd | Jun 18, 2018


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (St. Louis Record) — Timothy Muir, former attorney for Leawood businessman and professional race car driver Scott Tucker, has been suspended following a June 5 Missouri Supreme Court order after both men were sentenced earlier this year in an illegal payday loan scam that reportedly netted billions of dollars.

The state high court also reinstated two other attorneys following their suspensions last month for tax issues.

In Muir's case, the state Supreme Court handed down an interim suspension following Muir's conviction in October of 14 felonies. Tucker and Muir were convicted after a five-week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in a $3.5 billion unlawful Internet payday lending scam, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

The two were alleged to have exploited more than 4.5 million "financially struggling Americans" in a scheme intended to evade Missouri usury laws to charge illegal interest rates as high as 1.000 percent on loans., the release said. "Tucker and Muir sought to get away with their crimes by claiming that this $3.5 billion business was actually owned and operated by Native American tribes," the news release said.

"But that was a lie. The jury saw through Tucker and Muir's lies and saw their business for what it was – an illegal and predatory scheme to take callous advantage of vulnerable workers living from paycheck to paycheck."

In January, Muir was sentenced to seven years while Tucker was sentenced to 16 years, eight months.

The high court’s suspension of Muir is pending final disposition of his conviction and he was ordered to "immediately advise this court when disposition of any appeal shall become final." The high court also ordered Muir to pay costs.

In other separate orders, Independence attorney Shahzad Nasim Ghafoor and Springfield attorney Terry L. Garner were reinstated as members of The Missouri Bar in good standing after "having presented sufficient evidence that the matter is satisfactorily resolved," following separate June 8 Supreme Court orders. The two were suspended May 9 over failure to pay taxes. 

Ghafoor was admitted to the bar in Missouri on Sept. 27, 2000, and Garner was admitted Sept. 19, 2011, according to his profile at The Missouri Bar's website.

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Missouri Bar Missouri Supreme Court U.S. Department of Justice

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