By Katie Sutton, Billings
Montana’s Board of Investments invested $50 million of our hard earned money into JLL Partners funds. JLL’s portfolio includes ACE Cash Express and Education Affiliates.
ACE charges 661% interest on fourteen-day loans. These products are illegal in Montana. Montanans save $37 million annually due to payday loan protections. There are fifteen states where ACE’s products are illegal.
ACE paid a $10 million settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau due to false threats of lawsuits and other illegal tactics to pressure customers with overdue loans to borrow more money.
Education Affiliates paid $13 million to the US government to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the US Department of Education for students enrolled in their programs.
ACE’s $10 million settlement along with the Education Affiliates’ $13 million settlement did not stop the Board from giving JLL more of Montana’s money – it was after these cases that the Board committed their second $25 million investment with JLL.
The Board should not invest firms whose profits come from abusive and illegal practices or engages in fraud to prey on students. Montana should not be invested in companies that break the law.