May 17, 2018

CONTACT: Carter Dougherty; 251-6700

AFR Statement on Appointment of Andrew Smith as Head of FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection

“The least likely candidate to run the FTC’s consumer protection unit ought to be the former lawyer for a notorious payday lender that the FTC itself pursued for a billion-dollar settlement and who is now in prison on a racketeering conviction,” said José A, Payday Campaign Manager at Americans for Financial Reform. “Another unlikely candidate would be an attorney for Equifax, the credit bureau that let hackers get away with the personal financial data of millions of Americans. Yet the FTC has found a lawyer, Andrew Smith, who worked for both payday lenders and Equifax. The FTC needs a someone with a record of consumer protection, not yet another industry lawyer.”

  • Scott Tucker ran a network of payday lenders that for years sought to exploit Native American tribal sovereign immunity to claim an exemption from state consumer protection laws
  • The FTC sued Tucker and his associates for unfair and deceptive practices, and eventually reached a $1.3 billion settlement
  • The Justice Department followed up with a racketeering case for usury, and won a conviction and sentence of 16 years in prison