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Kansas man who skipped sentencing last week gets prison

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 10:44:41-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A week after missing his first sentencing hearing, a Kansas man was hauled into a federal courtroom in Kansas City, Missouri, in shackles and sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for carrying out a phony debt-selling scam involving millions of dollars.

Joel Tucker, 52, of Prairie Village, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty last year to transporting stolen money, bankruptcy fraud and tax evasion. He was also ordered to pay more than $8 million in restitution to the IRS.

Tucker had been set to be sentenced last week, but did not show up for the hearing, and an arrest warrant was issued for him. His lawyers said Tucker was in Colorado dealing with a family matter.

Most of Tucker's charges stemmed from his selling phony consumer information to debt collectors, who then tried to get consumers to pay debts they didn't owe. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission obtained a $4 million judgment against Tucker for the same scam.

Tucker's brother, former professional race car driver Scott Tucker, is serving a nearly 17-year sentence in federal prison for running an illegal payday loan operation in Overland Park that federal authorities said exploited more than 2 million borrowers.

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