The New York Times reported that Brown, Temple and Beaver "carefully crafted their corporate entities to obscure ownership and secure increasing profits."
Brown, a former
The erstwhile payday lender, with the help of legal advisor Temple and chief operating officer Beaver, used a number of tricks to mask the true identify of his companies, from setting up shell companies in
"The exploitative practices -- including exorbitant interest rates and automatic payments from borrowers' bank accounts, as charged in the indictment -- are sadly typical of this industry as a whole," said
Brown incorporated the online payday lending arm, MyCashNow.com, in the West Indies, a tactic that prosecutors say was intended to try to put the company beyond the reach of American authorities.
The indictment against Brown, Beaver and Temple said the trio orchestrated a "systemic and pervasive usury scheme."
But Brown's lawyer,
On Monday, Beaver, who was arraigned in state court, entered a plea of not guilty.
The Times said such charges are rare.
"The case is a harbinger of others that may be brought to rein in payday lenders that offer quick cash, backed by borrowers' paychecks, to people desperate for money," New York Times reporter
Reporters who attempted to connect the dots between Brown's business interests were themselves threatened with lawsuits, and Temple has claimed on multiple occasions that her firm, the
Brown pledged to donate
Brown also diversified his empire, supporting language translation software for missionaries that later became what is now a company called Sovee, and investing in real estate throughout the
Payday lending isn't the only field in which Brown has come under fire. He gained notoriety for a
Through it all, Brown maintained that his actions were legal, and subject to federal, not state jurisdiction. He dodged cease and desist orders by attorneys general in multiple states, while dismissing an investigation by federal agencies as a routine matter.
Eventually, he was forced to lay off hundreds of employees in 2013 after
Many of those employees, who formerly worked at Brown companies with names like Area 203, Cloudswell and ACH Federal, remained in the
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