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James R. Carnes; Melissa C. Carnes; James R. Carnes Revocable Trust; Melissa C. Carnes Revocable Trust

On April 5, 2023, the Bureau filed a lawsuit against James R. Carnes and his wife, Melissa C. Carnes, both individually and in their roles as co-trustees of two trusts, as a result of James Carnes’s efforts to conceal assets and avoid paying a judgment of more than $43 million to the Bureau. The Bureau obtained the judgment after finding that Carnes and his company, Integrity Advance, LLC, violated multiple laws, including the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, and caused significant harm to consumers. See CFPB v. Integrity Advance, LLC and James R. Carnes, 2015-CFPB-0029 (administrative proceeding); Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Integrity Advance, LLC and James R. Carnes, 2:21-mc-206 (D. Kan. July 30, 2021) (judgment). The Bureau’s complaint alleged that James Carnes engaged in multiple fraudulent transactions in violation of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act to remove assets and conceal them from the Bureau. Specifically, the complaint alleged that soon after Carnes became aware of the Bureau’s investigation into his illegal payday lending business, he began transferring significant assets to his wife’s trust and that, in total, he transferred more than $12 million to the trust during the Bureau’s investigation and subsequent administrative proceeding. On July 17, 2023, the court issued prejudgment writs of garnishment and attachment freezing assets that had been transferred to the trust, and on November 9, 2023, the court denied Melissa Carnes’ motion to quash those writs. On June 25, 2024, the court entered a stipulated final judgment and order that imposes a $12 million judgment on James and Melissa Carnes. Full payment of this amount is suspended based on a demonstrated inability to pay following, among other things, the Carnes’ payment of $7 million to the Bureau, which will be applied to James Carnes’ $43 million judgment.


Stipulated Final Judgment and Order (This version has been modified from the version that was entered by the court in order to optimize the reading experience for individuals with disabilities. No text has been changed.)

Press release

CFPB Sues James Carnes and Melissa Carnes for Hiding Money to Avoid Paying for Illegal Payday Lending Business

CFPB Takes Action Against James and Melissa Carnes for Fraudulently Hiding Money to Evade Law Enforcement