Payday lender fined record $50,000

RENO -- State regulators have fined a Reno-based payday lender a record $50,000 and ordered it to pay damages to a Michigan woman it allegedly charged $857 for a $200 loan she took out via the Internet.

Leads Global Inc. was fined for conducting unlicensed lending activity and multiple other violations, including harassing the Michigan woman at her home and place of employment, the Nevada Financial Institutions Division said in a statement Monday.

Regulators ordered Leads in March to halt operations in the state under any of the names it was doing business, including Cash Today, Cash Today Commercial, Cash Today Factoring, Global Cash Advances, Global Advances, Global Financial Services International Limited, Corporate Office Services.

A telephone recording at its headquarters on Terminal Way near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport answered "Cash Today" on Monday and referred calls to a customer service number, but a customer service representative hung up when The Associated Press called seeking comment from company officials.

Company representatives failed to appear before the state division during a disciplinary hearing on April 27, the state division said.

In addition to the fine, Leads Global was ordered to pay $1,054 in compensatory damages to Stacie Banks. The division, part of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, identified her only as a resident of Michigan who had secured the $200 loan.