San Bernardino shooter may have funded weapon purchase through P2P loan

by Ryan Smith08 Dec 2015
A deposit of more than $28,000 dollars was made by an online lender to the account of one of the San Bernardino shooters about two weeks before he and his wife carried out a massacre – a deposit that may have come from a peer-to-peer lender.

Syed Farook received $28,500 from online lender Prosper around Nov. 18, according to a CBS News report. On Dec. 2, Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, stormed a holiday party at his workplace and killed 14 people.

Investigators are exploring whether the loan was used to reimburse Enrique Marquez, the man who purchased two of the AR-15 rifles used in the shootings, according to a Fox News report. The loan and the large cash withdrawal were described to Fox News by an unnamed source as “significant evidence of premeditation.”

Prosper describes itself as a peer-to-peer lender where borrowers can request loans between $2,000 and $35,000, and individual lenders can invest amounts as little as $25 on each loan they select.

Peer-to-peer lending has come under criticism in the past for its relatively high risk to investors, and the fact that some P2P lenders don’t always verify borrower income or debts. However, Marc Savitt, president of the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals, cautioned against jumping to conclusions in this case.

“I’ve heard good and bad things about peer-to-peer,” Savitt said. “Obviously, my concern is that this terrorist act may have been funded through this type of lending – but until we know conclusively that this type of financing was actually involved, then it’s best that we reserve judgment until we know the full story.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Griff | 12/9/2015 9:58:13 AM

    Jumping to the conclusion this type of lending needs the scrutiny the rest of us in mortgage lending are getting. Clearly this type of lending can be far more dangerous than a home mortgage. Where was the cfpb when they were needed?

  • by AK | 12/9/2015 4:26:50 PM

    Agree wholeheartedly. As a mortgage originator we are under watchful eye of every agency there is - Federal(Fed, CFPB, NMLS), the state regulators and the lenders. P2P lending is a perfect vehicle for money laundering.

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