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Press Release

Pasco County Man Pleads Guilty To Impersonating United States Senator

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Sidney C. Hines (67, New Port Richey) has pleaded guilty to false impersonation of a federal officer or employee of the United States.  He faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison. 

According to court documents, Hines received a mortgage loan secured by his home in New Port Richey and subsequently fell behind on his mortgage payments.  In an effort to help delinquent borrowers such as Hines, the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) created the HomeSaver Advance (“HSA”) loan program to help delinquent borrowers remain in their homes. On October 8, 2008, Hines obtained a HSA loan, funded by Fannie Mae, for $5,863.73.

Hines failed to make the required payments on his HSA loan and the loan was turned over to ClearSpring Loan Services, a debt collection agency.  Beginning in March 2013 and continuing through the end of 2014, Hines impersonated United States Senator Richard Durbin on multiple occasions in telephone calls he made to ClearSpring. During those calls, acting as Senator Durbin, he stated that Hines’s HSA loan had been paid in full and that the loan should be removed from his credit report. 

This case was investigated by United States Capitol Police and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General.  It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.

Updated September 7, 2016