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Federal judge orders Nexus to pay $811 million

Nexus' Verona headquarters as seen in 2023.
Randi B. Hagi
Nexus' Verona headquarters as seen in 2023.

Update, April 8, 2024: Judge Dillon filed an amended memorandum opinion on April 2, noting that the civil penalties owed to the CFPB were $111.1 million "against each defendant." The previous version stated that all defendants were "jointly and severally liable" for one $111.1 million penalty. This edit brings Nexus' total amount owed to $811,065,070. A previous version of this story had calculated the total to be $366.5 million.

A federal judge has ordered Nexus, a company formerly based in Verona, to pay more than $811 million in restitution and fines. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

One of the federal lawsuits against Nexus came to a close on Easter Sunday, when U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon filed a final judgment order for the company and its leaders – Micheal Donovan, Richard Moore, and Evan Ajin – to pay $811 million in civil penalties and the "disgorgement of ill-gotten gains."

The plaintiffs – the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the states of Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia – sued Nexus in 2021 for breaking consumer protection laws by deceiving and threatening tens of thousands of clients in their immigration bond business, and making hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. Last May, Judge Dillon entered a default judgment against Nexus, essentially saying they forfeited the case by continually delaying and snubbing court orders.

Nexus appealed the case to the U.S. Fourth Circuit. A three-judge panel dismissed the appeal in February.

The final judgment order awards:

  • $231 million to the CFPB as restitution for affected clients, 
  • $111.1 million to the CFPB in civil penalties from each defendant, and
  • Several million to each of the three state governments for civil penalties. 

Nexus is also prohibited from requiring clients to wear GPS devices or collecting payments related to GPS monitoring.
In another federal lawsuit, Judge Michael F. Urbanski is still deliberating on whether or not to place Nexus in receivership, which would give a forensic accountant legal control of their financial records.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.
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