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Two North Carolina men plead guilty to bank fraud

Rahne Cooper, 31, and Darius Hinton, 31, pled guilty to bank fraud before Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers III in federal District Court March 24, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

Both men admitted using synthetic identities to obtain loans from financial institutions, according to the release. A synthetic identity – often referred to as a CPN or credit privacy number – looks like a nine-digit social security number and often, the CPN was actually issued by the Social Security Administration to a real individual. Individuals with poor credit scores use CPNs to build fresh credit by adding the CPN to their names and dates of birth, according to the release. To enhance credit worthiness, the new credit profile is added as an authorized user on credit accounts belonging to individuals with good credit.

“Cooper used a synthetic identity to finance the purchase of a car and Hinton used one to purchase John Deere lawn equipment from Quality Equipment. Each man faces a maximum penalty of 30 years’ in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, restitution and forfeiture,” stated the release.

Cooper and Hinton were charged along with Durham attorney Tiffany Russell in a 26-count indictment. Russell’s arraignment is scheduled for the May 17, 2021 term of court before District Judge James C. Dever III.

G. Norman Acker III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Social Security Administration and Raleigh Police Department have jointly investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Menzer is prosecuting.

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