An Antelope man today pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to two counts of mail fraud in a complex scheme to deceive credit reporting agencies.
According to court documents, Ricky Lamont Flemings, 28, exploited provisions in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a statute intended to provide consumer protection to individuals, to deceive Experian and other credit reporting agencies.
Beginning around Oct. 1, 2005, and continuing through Nov. 12, 2009, Fleminigs contacted Experian on multiple occasions, falsely reporting that he was the victim of identity theft, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Flemings then demanded that entries be removed from his credit report, although he knew that many of the entries were proper and the result of purchases he had made on credit.
As the result of Flemings' false statements, Experian blocked a total of 162 inquiries and 40 trade lines from his credit report. Once these trade lines and inquiries were blocked, authorities said, Flemings sought further extensions of credit, relying on the fact that creditors would not be able to access the fraudulently blocked entries. Flemings thus appeared to be a better credit risk than he was.
Authorities noted, for example, that between July 9 and Sept. 5, 2009, Flemings received financing from Schools Financial Credit Union, a federally insured credit union, for the purchase of a 2005 Lincoln Navigator and a 2006 Monterey boat. The loans to purchase the items were approved after the credit union examined a credit report for Flemings that did not include fraudulently blocked entries. Had these entries been present on the credit report, Schools Financial Credit Union would not have extended the loans.
Shortly after receiving credit for the Lincoln and the boat, Flemings contacted Experian and reported that the entry on his credit report related to these two items was fraudulent and should be removed.
Flemings is to be sentenced July 6 by U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia.
The case resulted from a joint investigation by the Placer County Sheriff's Department and the United States Secret Service.