The Trouble with an 800 Fico

Last week we had a troubling discovery.   Identity theft is no longer limited to consumer credit.   The would-be identity thief was going for a much larger score – Corporate Finance.   To add further insult to this attempted deception the thief was using an active duty Army officer’s identity.

How he did it:

1.  Shell companies.   The thief set up company 1 as an LLC using the officer’s SSN.   Additionally, he created company 2 using another stolen identity.    The thief contacted us as the owner of company 2 looking to finance a customer – company 1.   We handle transactions like this regularly so nothing was out of the norm.

2.  The LLC was filed properly, they had a valid TIN, identification, web presence, and even profiles on social media.   This was quite involved.

3. As documents were being gathered I noticed something quite unusual.   The man on the military ID appeared in his early/mid twenties – about 2 decades younger than a high ranking Army officer would be.  I took great pains to look for the REAL Army officer and found him to be on deployment – most certainly NOT seeking commercial financing.

4.  We alerted the Army officer, local and national authorities, and the credit bureaus.  With luck the officer may regain his strong credit once he’s stateside.

Although this loan would have likely never made it through underwriting without having been discovered it was *close enough* to be troubling.    What’s worse is I can only imagine the difficulty this Army officer will have unraveling the companies that have been created in his name.   It will be a long and painful process I’m certain.

Tim Maloney is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and president of Quickline Capital Partners, Inc – a NY based Commercial Finance Company.