Date: March 24, 2021 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Raleigh, NC — Rahne Cooper and Darius Hinton pled guilty to bank fraud before Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers, III, in federal District Court today. Both men admitted using synthetic identities to obtain loans from financial institutions. A synthetic identity, often referred to as a CPN or credit privacy number, looks like a nine-digit social security number. 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. To enhance the credit worthiness, the new credit profile is added as authorized users 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. 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 Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Social Security Administration, and Raleigh Police Department have jointly investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Menzer is prosecuting the case.