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Salty Droid

Payday Protection

Have you seen that six-part Netflix documentary series Dirty Money?

It’s good.

If you watch just one; let it be Episode 4, Cartel Bank, about the Mexican money laundering operations of Herbalife’s bank, HSBC. Think about the rise of Herbalife’s Mexican nutrition clubs while you watch it.

{ No, I’m sorry. That was just a little note to myself. Ignore that. Oh you already are ignoring that? Cool cool cool. }

What I meant was…

Watch Episode 2, Payday, about payday lender and–omg he actually made himself a race car driver–narcissist Scott Tucker.

It’s fun because, #spoilers, Tucker and one of his attorneys actually go to jail… bigly. They strut and they moan, they blame, they lie, they plan to green tea pity party; and then they lose and go to jail. Oops. It’s kinda beautiful.

But it wasn’t a whole happy ending because not all of the lawyers went to jail. And now one of them, Andrew Smith, is the new head of the consumer protection unit at the FTC.

Surprise (not surprised)!

New York Times: A Lawyer for Payday Lenders Is Confirmed for F.T.C. Job

The new director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection unit, a watchdog with broad investigative powers over private companies, stands out even in an administration prone to turning over regulatory authority to pro-industry players.

I’m not sure he “stands out” as much as he conforms to form.

Mr. Smith, then a lawyer with Morrison & Foerster, met with the agency’s lawyers and other defense counsel on at least one occasion, a group that included Mr. Tucker’s personal lawyer, Timothy Muir. Mr. Muir would later be charged and convicted of helping Mr. Tucker run what prosecutors described as a $3.5 billion criminal enterprise.

Oh just $3.5 billion? Well, they’re poor people, so I’m sure they can cover it.

Asked whether he had second thoughts about representing companies that had helped Mr. Tucker bilk vulnerable people out of millions of dollars, he said: “I think all lawyers think about that. I was a part of a team at MoFo, and I think that everyone deserves a good defense.”

Everyone deserves a good defense. Except poor people who face the loss of their liberty at the hands of the state.

But everyone who scammed a billion “deserves” a good “defense” before non-criminal government regulators?

It’s such obvious shit.

Scott Tucker deserved lawyers from the bottom tier of the legal monopoly, but got lawyers from the top. People impoverished by Scott Tucker and then prosecuted by the state deserve the top tier, but literally can’t get ten minutes with a lawyer before going to jail.

It’s not about people “deserving” a good defense. If it was about that then things wouldn’t be what they are.


It’s about lawyers thinking they deserve better boats.


Fraud pays.

Lawyers, please contemplate the possibility that facilitating fraud makes you a bad person. Like, a bad person. It’s not your job. You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to be part of “teams” that do it. That’s what we have Michael Cohens for.

You’re doing it because you are doing it.