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Online lender Prosper said to approve a loan to the San Bernardino shooters

By Ian Kar
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Prosper, an online lending platform, approved the San Bernardino shooters—Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik—for a loan of more than $28,000, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The married couple opened fire at a holiday party in a San Bernardino, Calif., social services center on Dec. 2, killing 14 people in what authorities have called the deadliest instance of terrorism in the US since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In a statement, Prosper declined to say whether it had approved a loan to the pair citing legal prohibitions on “disclosing any non-public, personally identifiable information regarding any loan originated through our platform.”

“All loans originated through the Prosper platform are subject to all identity verification and screening procedures required by law, including US anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws,” the company said, adding that it was shocked and saddened by the San Bernardino attacks.

Today’s report does not indicate any wrongdoing by Prosper.

Prosper Marketplace is one of a number of online “peer-to-peer” lenders that attempt to match borrowers with lenders. Such peer-to-peer lenders—including Lending Club and Avant—have attracted attention and investment from venture capitalists in recent years. Alternative lenders have raised $1.5 billion in the five quarters through early 2015, according to CBinsights, a startup research firm.

According to a 2015 white paper published by law firm Chapman and Cutler, US laws require banks that fund online loans—and, in some cases, online peer-to-peer lending platforms such as Prosper which serve essentially as middlemen—to comply with bank secrecy, anti-terrorism and anti-money-laundering laws.

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