A former examiner at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has come forward with claims that she was told by higher-ups at the bureau to falsify and fabricate information related to an investigation of a payday lending company.
The former examiner, Cassandra Jackson, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month. Jackson said she refused to falsify the requested information and when she did, she was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan because she was not performing at the required level.
Jackson names Lori Harrison, La’Mont Toomer, James Day, and Karen Mysliwiec as the senior staff at the CFPB who ordered her to change documents to make it look like the lender, Ace Cash Express, had violated a consent order. She was asked to remove documentation and evidence from the case file folders, as well.
In her letter, Jackson says that Harrison is an Examiner in Charge, Toomer is a Field Manager, and that Day and Mysliwiec are Assistant Regional Directors.
The investigation in question took place in September 2013. Jackson does not mention why it took more than four years for this information to come to light. She said she was forced to resign from the CFPB “due to the incredibly hostile work environment and the retaliation I continued to receive” due to this incident.
Jackson claims that after she refused to falsify the requested information, that Harrison changed it herself before sending it to Toomer for review and approval. The falsified report helped garner an extra $10 million in penalties and fines from Ace, according to Jackson’s letter.
A law firm, using the context of Jackson’s claims as supporting evidence, said that the penalty and investigation were “particularly troubling” and that the CFPB assessed its penalty without “providing any context to its actions or explaining how it determined the monetary sanctions.”