Trump's Bond Benefactor 'Illegally' Seized Cars Of Service Members

Trump's Bond Benefactor 'Illegally' Seized Cars Of Service Members

Don Hankey

Former President Donald Trump

Don Hankey, the billionaire who put up Donald Trump's $175 million bond last week for the MAGA hopeful's New York civil fraud trial judgment, was once sued by the former president's Department of Justice, according to an exclusiveDaily Beast report.

Hankey gained much of his $7.4 billion net worth, according to the report, by "targeting low-income customers with high-interest auto loans" through his company, Westlake Services.

MSNBC legal correspondent Lisa Rubin reported earlier this week that the billionaire is also "believed to be the largest shareholder in Axos Bank, which "refinanced Trump’s loans on Trump Tower and Doral in 2022."

Furthermore, because "Axos has loaned Trump $100 million in his refinancing of Trump Tower and another $125 million for Doral" Resort, Rubin noted, the ex-president was already indebted to Hankey prior to last week's $175 million bond.

However, the Beast notes, Hankey's "past is important context for his loan to Trump, and his company’s choppy history with federal law enforcement—as well as the fact that his firm would be regulated under a potential second Trump administration—may cast the loan in a new light."

Westlake Services "had systematically violated the rights of military employees over a period of several years," according to the report, having "repossessed dozens of vehicles belonging to military employees without obtaining the necessary court orders required under the law."

Prosecutors said, "Westlake and Wilshire specifically target servicemembers, including junior enlisted servicemembers, as customers for their subprime and near-subprime loan products," while their "complaint noted that the unlawful repossessions were 'intentional, willful, and taken in disregard' for the members’ rights, citing the fact that Hankey’s firms had followed the proper procedures when it was in their interest—like when it came to approving service member requests for interest rate reductions."

Westlake "settled the suit by paying $700,000 to Westlake immediately settled, agreeing to pay $700,000 in damages to the affected service members, along with a roughly $61,000 fine to the federal government," according to the Beast.

The news outlet also notes, a couple of years prior to the Trump DOJ's lawsuit against Westlake "and its wholly-owned subsidiary Wilshire under the SCRA, those same two entities were nailed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for 'illegal debt collection tactics.'"

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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