South Carolina veteran, Chad Wright, reflects on his years in the Army fondly, “I was proud to wear the uniform”.
But as many veterans find, life after serving, isn’t always easy. Wright found himself drowning in debt from family medical bills.
In 2013, Wright heard about a company called BAIC. Wright says he contacted the company, which told him he could trade his income stream, otherwise known as his military pension, for a cash advance.
Wright signed a contract to trade $550 of his pension each month for 10 years, in exchange for $8,000 in cash, and his bills paid off.
The federal government strictly prohibits using military pensions as collateral for loans. To skirt around this, Wright says BAIC used a 3rd party to set up a bank account for his pension to be direct deposited into. That shared account was with the Upstate Law Group and Candy Kern-Fuller, according to a federal lawsuit.
This pension loan, is considered a scheme to Stuart Rossman, a lawyer with the National Consumer Law Center. Rossman was part of lawsuits against companies that do the same programs in California and other states.
Rossman says the companies have little to no assets because the money they use for the cash advance for the veterans, comes from everyday investors. Rossman states the individuals that are at the heart of the scheme move the companies from state to state and change names.
A search of BAIC on the Better Business Bureau site shows that it is believed to be connected to the company Voyager, which was shut down for this same business in Arkansas.
After receiving representation, Wright broke his end of the contract, taking back his full pension each month.
We reached out to Candy Kern-Fuller several times for comment, but have not heard back. Kern-Fuller told the Independent Mail that the suit contains several false accusations.
The number for BAIC is not in service.
To read the full lawsuit, click here: Veteran Pension Federal Lawsuit