Payday loans, Gina Raimondo, and whatever they have as a common factor. Although state treasurer Gina…

Although state treasurer Gina Raimondo has criticized payday advances as being a product that is“predatory” two of her governmental associates have links having a check-cashing company who has offered payday loans.

Warwick attorney Joe Shekarchi managed Raimondo’s 2010 campaign, led her change team, and stays a confidante regarding the treasurer. Shekarchi is placed in a state record since the business representative for Ocean State Check Express, on River Street in Providence, which includes offered lending that is payday. State records reveal Ocean State Check Express is owned by the parents of Jackie Baginski, whom recently signed in as a fundraiser for Raimondo. Ocean State Check Express is a small player in the payday lending business in Rhode Island.

Shekarchi claims he ended up beingn’t conscious that Ocean State Check Express offered payday loans, and he calls the appropriate work he’s done for the company – on a zoning case, he says — a non-issue when it comes to Raimondo’s critique of payday lenders. “My private clients who we represent don’t have any connection because of the treasurer whatsoever,” Shekarchi says. Baginski didn’t react to a phone message and an e-mail seeking comment. (Before signing on as a fundraiser for Raimondo, Baginski struggled to obtain Engage RI, the pro-pension overhaul group that has been made up of Raimondo’s support.)

Raimondo spokeswoman Joy Fox declined to comment on whether directly the links of two Raimondo associates with Ocean State Check Express raise any concerns for the treasurer. “The Treasurer thinks that Rhode Island should not enable the sale of a financial predatory product such as payday lending that traps so many clients in a period of financial obligation,” Fox said in a statement. The connections are nonetheless noteworthy because of the treasurer’s razor-sharp criticism of payday financing. She became a member that is vocal year regarding the coalition that unsuccessfully wanted to sharply reduced the APR of up to 260 % charged by payday loan providers in Rhode Island.

DBR documents show Ocean State Check Express offered 357 payday loans in 2009, and 173 in 2010, equaling $92.916 in loans in 2009 and $43,129 this year. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to Rhode Island’s payday that is top, Advance America, which made 80,146 pay day loans in 2009 (best for a lot more than $28 million in loans) and 92,769 in ( more than $34 milion). Margaux Morisseau, director for the, Rhode Island Payday Lending Reform Coalition, says she was surprised to find out that two of Raimondo’s political associates have connections having a business which includes provided loans that are payday.

Morisseau adds: “Treasurer Raimondo was absolutely nothing but helpful and was prepared to be on the record repeatedly,” in criticizing payday lending. “There wasn’t at any point where we doubted her help.”

Although the bill to cap the power of payday lenders in RI to charge the same as triple-digit yearly interest rates attracted help from many lawmakers, it died in the recently ended legislative session; the coalition of critics was reluctant to guide a compromise they called unsatisfactory. Some observers suspect the results had been related in part to the lobbying clout of Advance America, which employs House Speaker William that is former Murphy. Meanwhile, the united states business Administration introduced a 2011 prize for entrepreneurial excellence to Joe and Brenda Baginski, the owners of Ocean State Check Express. The citation reads in part:

The Baginskis established their journey into entrepreneurship in 1990 when they purchased a small factory and opened a costume jewelry business. That company eventually employed 50 people before the jewelry businesses evaporated in the United States and drifted overseas, mainly to Asia. The factory shut in 1998. That exact same year Joe and Brenda started a check-cashing company in a small office at the front end associated with the factory. That check-cashing business once managed about $15 million annually. Those had been the days before electronic transfers plus the deposit that is direct of and government payments. Joe believes that the check-cashing business will go away, similar to the precious jewelry industry in the us.