NEW YORK — An appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and 10-year sentence for a man who ran a $220 million predatory payday lending operation that cheated over a half-million people nationwide.

The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan kept intact the 2018 sentencing of Richard Moseley Sr., of Kansas City, Missouri.

The appeals court said Moseley's arguments were "unpersuasive."

Moseley, 76, was convicted in 2017 of racketeering, fraud and identity theft for crimes committed while he ran the company from 2004 to 2014.

He was charged with abusing borrowers in New York and other states with interest rates exceeding — by many multiples — the maximum legal interest rates allowed in those states.

Prosecutors said Moseley's loan company exploited over 600,000 of the most financially vulnerable people in the country, and then Moseley dodged disgruntled customers and state regulators by operating from the Caribbean or New Zealand.

At sentencing, a prosecutor said Moseley was "playing whack-a-mole with the regulators."

The sentencing judge read aloud excerpts from a business plan that served as a blueprint for Moseley's businesses, saying: "If this is a business plan, then it's a business plan for a criminal enterprise."