HELENA – An online loan company owned by the Chippewa Cree tribe of Montana is splitting up with its non-Native American partner, who, according to a lawsuit, controlled the company and only used the tribe to protect it from state laws on the loans.
Plain Green CEO Jay Abbasi said on Wednesday that the company has decided to leave its Texas-based partner, Think Finance Inc., as the company has grown to the point that it can be managed from the Indian reservation of Rocky Boy.
“What has been going on for several years, and what everyone has missed, is that we have evolved as a stand-alone company and entity,” Abbasi said.
Think Finance officials said they only provide technology and support services to Plain Green, and they are happy that these services have helped the company build a successful business.
“It’s always disappointing to see a valued customer leave,” said company spokesperson Brian Bartlett, “but Think Finance wishes Plain Green success on their new platform.”
Plain Green has been a lucrative business for the Chippewa Cree Tribe since 2011 when they began offering short-term loans to individuals at annualized interest rates of up to 379%. The company claims tribal sovereignty as an arm of the Cree Chippewa tribe to avoid laws in the state of Montana and elsewhere that cap or prohibit high interest loans.