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Nov. 29, 2012

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Huntsville Man Convicted of Social Security Fraud

HOUSTON - Christopher Tyrone Cooper, 39, of Huntsville, has entered a plea of guilty to one count of Social Security fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

According to court documents, Cooper used the identity and Social Security number of an individual with a similar name to obtain more than $50,000 in credit at various FDIC-insured and non-insured institutions, medical facilities and other businesses, including financing from Bank of America to purchase a vehicle in March 2010.

According to documents in support of the guilty plea, Cooper opened 18 lines of credit using someone else’s Social Security number. Cooper defaulted on every loan and failed to make a single payment on any accounts he allegedly opened under fraudulent pretenses.

The victim in the case indicated he had been the victim of identity theft. He had been attempting to fix his credit for more than a year, but was unsuccessful as a result of Cooper continually using his Social Security number to obtain credit.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, who accepted the plea today, has set sentencing for Feb. 22, 2013, at which time Cooper will face up to five years in prison and a possible $250,00 fine. Judge Lake allowed Cooper to remain on bond pending sentencing.

The matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Huntsville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney James R. Buchanan is prosecuting the case.