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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

April 25, 2013

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

Huntsville Man Sentenced for Social Security Fraud

HOUSTON - Christopher Tyrone Cooper, 39, of Huntsville, has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction for one count of Social Security fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Cooper pleaded guilty Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.      

Today, U.S. District Judge U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Cooper a total sentence of 27 months and must pay restitution. He will also be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

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.

Cooper will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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.