Va. Judge Certifies Two Classes Of RICO Borrowers

Law360 (July 21, 2021, 10:34 PM EDT) -- A Virginia federal judge certified two classes of borrowers who claim non-Native vendor Matt Martorello violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act when he partnered with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians to issue loans with illegally high rates.

A group of Virginia residents has been embroiled in a legal battle for years with online lending companies that got away with charging inflated interest rates through sovereign immunity, but Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne ruled in 2018 that the lenders did not have strong enough ties with the tribe to invoke that immunity....

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