The reelection campaign for Maryland governor Larry Hogan (R.) is calling on his Democratic opponent Ben Jealous to return money he received from executives of LendUp, a payday loan company Jealous invests in that has been fined millions for predatory lending practices.
Jealous's investment in LendUp was revealed on Thursday morning by the Baltimore Sun, which reports that the company has been the recipient of fines totaling $3 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and California's Department of Business Oversight. Jealous, who was a critic of payday loan companies during his days as head of the NAACP, referred questions on the fines to the company.
The Hogan campaign responded to the report by pointing to contributions from LendUp executives—$2,500 from company founder and CEO Sasha Orloff and an additional $2,012 from vice president of policy Jotaka Eaddy—and demanding they be returned.
"We are calling on Jealous to return the thousands of dollars he's received from the executives of this seedy company," said Scott Sloofman, the campaign's communications director.
The company was caught charging illegal fees, calculating false interest rates, and failing to report required information to regulators, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that the company's loan rates regularly exceeded 600 percent.
[Related: Predatory payday lenders target Black and Latino communities ]