UK payday lenders play role in race for Connecticut governors

HARTFORD, CT – (Update 2 p.m.) Bob Stefanowski’s role as CEO of a payday loan company was an easy target for Ned Lamont’s campaign, but in his last television commercial Stefanowski retorts that it was sort of Lamont’s family that benefited from the payday loan investments.

Lamont’s campaign called the ad “patently bogus” and Lamont himself asked Stefanowski to withdraw the ad on Tuesday at an independent press conference.

“Annie certainly had nothing to do with it. Leave my wife out of this, ”Lamont said Tuesday.

He went on to say firmly, “This is a bogus attack on my wife and they should remove this ad.”

Stefanowski’s campaign has no plans to remove the ad, according to his campaign.

The ad says Lamont is a hypocrite for attacking Stefanowski for his involvement in a payday loan company when “Lamont is the one who personally profited from payday loans.”

How? ‘Or’ What?

Stefanowski’s campaign says Anne Lamont, wife of Ned and managing partner at Oak Investment Partners, has invested in a company called Wonga.

Oak Investment Partners, according to the news reports from 2011, led a first round of investment in the short-term loan company accessible through a mobile phone application. The company is now gone after being subjected to a similar review by the UK Financial Conduct Authority in 2014. The same review that Stefanowski’s UK payday loan company went through.

The initial investment in Wonga was made by an entirely different division of Oak Investment Partners and was never part of Ms. Lamont’s portfolio. Ms Lamont never had anything to do with the investment and made no profit, according to the campaign.

“Bob tries to distract from the fact that he was actually the CEO of a payday loan company that ripped off soldiers and veterans, but this ad and his business record shows just how helpless he is. scruple and unscrupulous, ”Marc Bradley, Lamont campaign manager, said. “Bob has a Trumpian plan to cut education and health care and raise property taxes, which will devastate Connecticut. “

Lamont asked Stefanowski to stop talking about himself and his family and focus on the state of Connecticut.

“Stop talking about me. Stop talking about successful ads, ”Lamont said. “Talk about where we take the state of Connecticut.”

Stefanowski’s campaign claims that the things Lamont says in his ad about Stefanowski’s business practices are also untrue.

Lamont TV advertising Stefanowski says “took advantage of predatory loans to the military”.

Stefanowski’s last job was as CEO of DFC Global, a payday loan company accused of making fraudulent auto loans to US military personnel. Stefanowski claims he was hired to help turn the business around.

Stefanowski took over the company in June 2014 and in 2015 it ended the auto loan business and paid a $ 3.3 million settlement to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which alleged that DFC had loan products deceptively marketed to service members.

Stefanowski left in January 2017 and in September 2017 he was running for governor.

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