NC: Lead Defendant in Synthetic Identity Fraud Ring Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

Defendant was creating fictitious credit profiles and fraudulently altering client credit data through the use of fictitious police reports.

A Knightdale man pleaded guilty today to Bank Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344.

Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III stated, “Following a lengthy period of litigation, and delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Michael Griffin will finally face justice for his actions.  We look forward to the sentencing phase of this case, and an opportunity to seek justice for the victims.”

The indictment charges that defendant Michael Griffin, operating from his business location in Raleigh and home in Knightdale, accepted fees from clients for alleged credit repair services.  The indictment alleges that, in reality, Griffin was creating fictitious credit profiles and fraudulently altering client credit data through the use of fictitious police reports.

The indictment further charges that various defendants, many of whom were family members, conspired with Griffin to defraud Synchrony Bank, a Lowe’s credit card provider, by opening credit accounts in the name of fraudulent identities, cashing out the accounts through prepaid card purchases, and then defaulting on the credit accounts.  The indictment also charges various defendants with similar frauds against other banks, including Capital One and Discover.

Today Griffin pleaded guilty to Count 14 of the Second Superseding Indictment, which charged a fraud upon Synchrony Bank using a false identity in the name of M.J. and a social security number and date of birth that did not belong to him.

More than ten other defendants also named in the Second Superseding Indictment already pled guilty to related charges earlier this year.  Sentencing in Griffin’s case, as well as these related cases, remains pending.  Griffin’s sentencing is tentatively set for the September 202021 term, with the exact date and location to be determined.  At sentencing, Griffin faces a statutory maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement. The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation with the assistance of the United States Marshals Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represents the United States.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:20-CR-245-1D(2).



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