Why payday loans are making us sick
Corona, a Venezuelan lender that charges high interest rates, has emerged as one of the country’s largest providers of high-interest payday loans, in part because the lender has an almost unparalleled track record of predatory practices.
Corona is now facing charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
Its latest scandal is that it has used the name “Majestic Bank” on loan applications, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Venezuelan company has a history of making questionable loan terms and misleading borrowers about how much they can borrow.
According to the DOJ, Corona is the countrys largest payday lender.
The U.K. government has also accused the company of illegally selling bank accounts, which it says it is now investigating.
The government alleges that Corona has “purchased” $6.8 billion of Venezuelan government bonds from investors and made it available to lenders.
In addition, the government says it has “received a number of complaints” about Corona’s practices, which are “causing significant hardship” to the country.
The DOJ filed the criminal complaint on April 12, 2018.
The company did not immediately respond to Al Jazeera’s request for comment.
A spokesman for Corona declined to comment.
Corona’s logo, a stylised heart and a red circle, has been used on more than 1,500 loan applications since the beginning of the year, according a company spokesperson.
It has not disclosed how many borrowers have been affected.
The Justice Department alleges that the company has made over $1.3 billion from its loans.
The company says that about half of the loans have been made to individuals and families.
Coronas “failure to pay” loans has led to the arrest of some of its investors and investors who received loans through the company, the DOJ said.
The firm is one of more than 300 private lenders that operate in Venezuela, according the DOJ.
The government is trying to crack down on the sector, which has been hit hard by the economic crisis and the country s worst-ever economic recession since the 1980s.
Venezuela is a Latin American country of some 3.5 million people, according AFP.