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 alleges 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 alleges 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. The Bureau seeks a declaration that the transactions were fraudulent and to recover the value of the transferred assets in partial satisfaction of the Bureau’s judgment against Carnes.