Monday, February 25, 2008

Prosper Days '08 kicks off

Here's the first mainstream media report on Prosper Days:

SF Business Times - Prosper CEO sees company benefiting from credit crunch

"Prosper CEO Chris Larsen said Monday that the San Francisco company is benefiting from the credit crunch that's sending more lenders and borrowers to the person-to-person lending marketplace.

More people with good credit are coming to Prosper as home equity loans and credit cards become harder to obtain, Larsen told 350 people attending the company's Prosper Days in San Francisco.

"Banks are retrenching so aggressively," he said. Prosper lenders have also pulled back on loans made to subprime borrowers.

Larsen also anticipates more people might be willing to lend on Prosper as rates fall on other investments following the Fed's dramatic rate cuts.

...Lenders attending Prosper Days made it clear that they're eager for the company to do more to crack down on fraud, even as Larsen touted Prosper's first conviction for someone committing fraud through Prosper."

According to posts by lenders on Prosper.org's forum and IRC, the man convicted of fraud on Prosper is Jehoshua Sean Kilen. The News Tribune reported on the case in November 2007 without mentioning Prosper:

Lakewood man off to prison for bank fraud

Lakewood resident Jehoshua Sean Kilen was sentenced Friday to 18 months in federal prison after being convicted of bank fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported in a news release Friday.

Kilen, a former employee of KeyBank, used insider information to identify inactive accounts that still had money in them. Some of the accounts were inactive because the customer had died, according to the release.

Kilen, 27, would transfer money from the inactive accounts into accounts he could withdraw cash from, federal authorities said. All told, he got away with $138,000 before getting caught.
The long arm of the law caught up with him in California in February and pleaded guilty in May in Tacoma.

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