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McDaniel sues payday lenders

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel on Monday filed a lawsuit against three out-of-state companies alleging that they have been illegally providing payday loans to Arkansas consumers at high interest rates via the Internet.

McDaniel filed the suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court against King Marketing, Prestige Group Marketing and SLR Ridge. Also named as defendants are the companies’ owners, brothers Chris Kamberis of Leawood, Kan., and John Kamberis of Olathe, Kan.

The companies purport to be located in the Caribbean island of Nevis, but McDaniel said in a news release that almost all of their business is conducted by employees or agents in the Kansas City, Kansas, area.

The suit alleges that defendants have collected more than $264,000 from Arkansas consumers in fees and interest. The interest rates on the loans are all over the 17 percent limit set by Arkansas law, with some exceeding 640 percent and the highest at 782 percent, according to the suit.

Calls to phone numbers listed as belonging to Chris and John Kamberis were answered Monday with recordings stating that the numbers had been disconnected.

The suit seeks a court order prohibiting the defendants from issuing payday loans to Arkansas consumers and ordering them to cancel all outstanding loan contracts and obligations. It also seeks restitution, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees and costs.

McDaniel ordered payday lenders to stop doing business in Arkansas in 2008.

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