Man charged with impersonating senator to get out of loan

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man is accused of impersonating a U.S. senator to avoid paying off his home loan.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Tampa reports that a grand jury indicted 67-year-old Sidney Hines this week on five counts of impersonating a federal officer or employee. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Court papers say Hines secured a HomeSaver Advance loan of $5,864 for his New Port Richey home in October 2008. Hines reportedly failed to make the payments.

Officials say Hines called a collection agency five times between March 2013 and December 2014. He claimed to be a U.S. senator from Illinois identified in the indictment as “R.D.” and said Hines’ HSA loan had been paid in full.

Illinois’ senators during that time period were Richard “Dick” Durbin and Mark Kirk.

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