If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust?
The operator of a North Carolina credit repair business has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for creating fake police reports to clean up his clients’ bad credit and enlisting his family to help run a $3.4 million credit card fraud scheme at Lowe’s
Michael Griffin, 53, involved seven relatives in the credit card scam, including his wife, daughter, two brothers and three sisters, one of whom was an online pastor. The scheme involved the creation of “synthetic identities” that relied on the stolen Social Security numbers of children, prosecutors said.
“Like a heavy, heavy anchor, he’s taken his entire family down,” U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle said at Griffin’s sentencing on Wednesday, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
All of Griffin’s relatives pleaded guilty in the case in October and were sentenced to as much as 14 months in prison.
A message left with Griffin’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.
False police reports
The probe into Griffin began in 2019 when authorities charged him with filing false police reports with credit rating agencies stating that his clients — some of whom had paid $3,000 for his credit repair services — had been the victims of identity theft. The ruse often worked and Griffin’s clients were unaware of what he had done, according to court documents.