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Using a CPN in Place of Your Social Security Number Can Land You in Jail

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Written by Steve Rhode

Recently I wrote this post about people who are selling CPN numbers to use in place of Social Security Numbers to apply for credit.

The post busts open the incorrect belief that people can use a CPN sold online to get a new credit history. CPN typically stands for a Credit Profile Number, Credit Protection Number, or Credit Privacy Number. The scammers use various names for the same thing, a new nine-digit number to use in place of a Social Security Number with a troubled credit history.

In my previous post, I gave specific examples of people who purchased CPNs, used them to apply for credit, and then wound up with jail time.

I just came across a couple of additional new cases that also demonstrate how this tactic is illegal. No matter what someone selling a CPN says.

United States of America v. Lacia Allen

“To justify their use of a social security number other than that issued to them by the Social Security Administration, some individuals claim that they were attempting to build a fresh credit history through the use of a credit privacy number, credit protection number, consumer profile number, or “CPN,” as a way of building a fresh credit history. However, they list the nine-digit CPN number on credit applications that request their social security number, and lead the credit issuers into believing the number is the legitimately issued social security number.”

United States of America v. David Day, Kimberly Taylor, Christopher Newton, Lashonda Collier, Jeremy Gilbert, Ernest Jones, Nashamba Floyd, Sylvester Ragland, Gerald Adams, Dejuan Alexander, Janie Howard, Marshall Lindsay, Joe Snow, Ashley Fox, Joshua Day, Keyona Berry, Ryan Thompson, and Lon Campbell

The indictment from the Grand Jury stated, “The object of the conspiracy was to allow individuals with poor credit histories to successfully purchase vehicles with misappropriated SSNs and fraudulently established credit histories.”

The court document continues.

“Defendant KIMBERLY TAYLOR (“TAYLOR”), a resident of California, obtained and sold misappropriated SSNs, referred to as “credit profile numbers” and “CPNs,” to enable individuals to establish false credit histories in order to deceive lenders and obtain loans.

It was further part of the conspiracy that Defendant DAVID DAY, a/k/a “Buster” (“DAY”), a resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, communicated electronically with Defendant TAYLOR about purchasing misappropriated SSNs from Defendant TAYLOR.

It was further part of the conspiracy that Defendant DAY provided the names and other personal identifying information of customers and clients requesting new SSNs or CPNs to Defendant TAYLOR.

It was further part of the conspiracy that Defendant TAYLOR obtained previously issued SSNs, sold the misappropriated SSNs to Defendant DAY, and associated the misappropriated SSNs with the names and other personal identifying information of Defendant DAY’s customers and clients.

It was further part of the conspiracy that Defendant DAY gave his customers and clients the misappropriated SSNs and in some cases provided instructions to establish fraudulent creditworthiness with the misappropriated SSNs.

It was further part of the conspiracy that, in some cases, Defendant DAY purchased fraudulent tradeline credit accounts for his customers and clients from UNINDICTED CO-CONSPIRATOR #1 to enhance the fraudulent credit histories of his customers and clients.

It was also a part of the conspiracy that, in most cases, the fraudulent tradeline credit accounts yielded positive credit histories for Defendant DAY’s customers and clients, thereby allowing Defendant DAY’s customers and clients to deceive lenders and obtain loans for the purchase of vehicles and other property by materially false and fraudulent representations and promises, and omissions of fact.”

The consumers who purchased the CPNs and used them to apply for credit were also charged.

You can read the full document below.

Kimberly Taylor was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $549,449. – Source

Others in the case suffered various other fates for buying the CPNs and using them.

United States of America v. Babar Qureshi, Muhammad ShafIQ, Ijaz Butt, Shafique Ahmed, Habib Chaudhry, Raghbir Singh, Muhammad Naveed, Khawaja Ikram, Narseen Akhtar, Mohammad Khan, Azhir Ikram, Shahid Raza, Abid Mian, Vernia Adams, Sat Verma, Vijay Verma, Tarsem Lal, and Vinod Dadlani

According to the criminal complaint filed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the named defendants engaged in the following effort:

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Make Up:

First, the defendants would “make up” a false identity by creating fraudulent identification documents and a fraudulent credit profile with the major credit bureaus.

Pump Up:

Second, the defendants would “pump up” the credit of the false identity by providing false information about that identity’s creditworthiness to the credit bureaus. Believing the furnished information to be accurate, the credit bureaus would unwittingly incorporate this material into the false identity’s credit report, making it appear that the false identity had excellent credit.

Run Up:

Third, the defendants would “run up” large loans using the false identity. The higher the fraudulent credit score, the larger the loans that the defendants could obtain. These loans were never repaid, and the defendants reaped the profits.

The Fraud Enterprise

Step 1: Make Up False Identities

The Co-Conspirators created and maintained thousands of false identities to further the conspiracy. In some instances, all information about the identity was fabricated. In other instances, while the social security number used by the false identity matched someone with the same name, the identification documents that were created for the identity were entirely fraudulent.

14. One method through which the Co-Conspirators created certain false identities was by adding a fictitious person as an “authorized user” on an existing credit card. In some instances, certain Co-Conspirators, including HABIB CHAUDHRY, RAGHBIR SINGH and AZHAR IKRAM, added false identities as authorized users on their own credit cards. In other instances, Co-Conspirators purchased “authorized user tradelines” (discussed below) from individuals such as VERNINA ADAMS. Once an identity was added as an “authorized user,” the major credit reporting agencies created a credit profile for the identity.

15. The Co-Conspirators created other false identities by making up information about the falseidentities, including personal identifying information such as social security numbers, fraudulent identification documents, fraudulent pay stubs and fraudulent tax returns. Certain Co-Conspirators, including BABAR QURESHI, MUHAMMAD SHAFIQUE, IJAZ BUTT, QAISER KHAN, SHAFIQUE AHMED, KHAWAJA IKRAM, NASREEN AKHTAR, MOHAMMAD KHAN, AZHAR IKRAM, SHAHID RAZA and VERNINA ADAMS, then communicated these fraudulent documents to one another via email and text messages.

Step 2: Pump Up the False Identities’ Credit

16. After creating certain false identities, the Co-Conspirators improved their credit history through a variety of methods. For example, the Co-Conspirators applied for and received credit cards with low spending limits. Then, the Co-Conspirators made a series of small purchases over an extended period of time and paid off the credit cards.

This slowly increased the credit score of the false identities. Members of the conspiracy, including BABAR QURESHI, RAGHBIR SINGH, MUHAMMAD NA VEED, KHA W AJA IKRAM, NASREEN AKHTAR and AZHAR IKRAM, have been recorded in bank branches making payments and ATM withdrawals on behalf of false identities used by the Fraud Enterprise.

Tradelines

17. The Co-Conspirators also used fraudulent “tradelines” to improve the credit histories of the false identities. Co-Conspirator VERNINA ADAMS and others used both “primary tradelines” and “authorized user tradelines” in furtherance of the conspiracy.

a. A primary tradeline is a line of credit in a credit history. Primary tradelines in good standing improve the credit score of the holder of the line of credit. Both the size of the line of credit and the length of time it has been in good standing impact the credit score. A primary tradeline has a significant influence on increasing or decreasing a credit score.

b. VERNINA ADAMS, through her business “One Stop Credit Shop,” enabled the Fraud Enterprise to post primary tradelines on the credit histories of false identities for lines of credit that did not in fact exist. Other Co-Conspirators contacted VERNINA ADAMS, who then obtained fake lines of credit for the false identities connected to the Fraud Enterprise to help improve the credit score of the false identity.

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c. An authorized user tradeline is a term used by credit reporting bureaus to refer to a person being an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. This can raise the credit score of the added authorized user because the authorized user inherits a portion of the credit history of the primary user of the credit card.

d. VERNINA ADAMS sold authorized user tradelines to other Co Conspirators. In turn, the other Co-Conspirators used the authorized user tradelines to create new identities for use in the Fraud Enterprise and to improve credit scores.

18. VERNINA ADAMS communicated with other Co-Conspirators by email to arrange for the manipulation of false identities’ credit history. Several examples of their communications follow:

a. On or about February 10,2011 VERNINA ADAMS emailed a Co-Conspirator (“CC-1 “) to advertise several primary tradelines she was offering for sale (the “February 10 Email”). In the February 10 Email, VERNINA ADAMS referenced a “credit profile number” or “CPN.” A CPN is a number that is formatted like a social security number and checked to ensure that a record does not exist with the credit bureaus for that number. CPNs are used by the Fraud Enterprise as the social security numbers for false identities to ensure that the credit bureaus do not reject the identity because a credit profile already exists with the same social security number.

Additionally, in the February 10 Email, VERNINA ADAMS noted that the tradelines she was offering for sale would be backdated to November of 2009, making it falsely appear that the line of credit had existed for several years. This would improve the credit score ofthe false identity.

b. On or about April 12 and 13 of2011, VERNINA ADAMS instructed CC-1 that a false identity must have a California address to purchase a primary tradeline. Law enforcement has determined that one of the companies that VERNINA ADAMS used to fraudulently post false primary trade lines to the credit history of false identities was a complicit California business called Acapulco Jewelry. CC-1 responded that his “client” did not have a California address, but rather had a New York address. VERNINA ADAMS agreed to make up a California address for the “client.”

c. On or about May 31, 2011, and June 1, 2011, CC-1 placed an order to purchase a primary tradeline for approximately $600 by filling out an online form on VERNINA ADAMS website. VERNINA ADAMS then emailed CC-1 to ask if the primary tradeline had posted to the credit bureaus. CC-1 responded that it had posted. VERNINA ADAMS responded that the primary tradeline should have posted only to Equifax and stated it was the Acapulco jewelry line.

d. Law enforcement has determined that VERNINA ADAMS also offered a fraudulent service called “credit card sweep.” VERNINA ADAMS offered this service as a method to repair the credit of a false identity, after it had run up fraudulent loans, by claiming that the false identity was a victim of identity theft. The credit card sweep scam sometimes involved submission of false police reports to substantiate the claims of identity theft.

e. On or about June 20, 2011, VERNINA ADAMS and CC-1 communicated via email regarding the purchase of a “credit card sweep” for a false identity controlled by the Fraud Enterprise. CC-1 stated that CC-1 needed a Pennsylvania driver’s license for the false identity and had the photo available. VERNINA ADAMS responded that she was no longer doing credit sweeps and directed CC-1 to a website that sold false identification documents to purchase the phony driver’s license he referenced in his email.

Read the Full Document

You can read the full court document below.




About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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