Pasco man accused of impersonating US senator

Sidney C. Hines, 67. Previous jail booking photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A New Port Richey man faces federal charges after investigators say he impersonated a U.S. senator when he fell behind on his mortgage payments.

Sidney C. Hines, 67, is charged with five counts of false impersonation of a federal officer.

Investigators say Hines received a mortgage loan secured by his home in New Port Richey and fell behind on his mortgage payments. Hines participated in the federal HomeSaver Advance (HSA) loan program which allowed delinquent borrowers to continue to make their mortgage paymants and get a loan for the amount they were in arrears. On October 15, 2008, Hines obtained a HSA loan for $5,863.73.

Hines failed to make the required payments on his HSA loan and the loan was turned over to ClearSpring Loan Services, a debt collection agency.  Beginning in March 2013 and continuing through the end of 2014, investigators say Hines impersonated a sitting United States Senator on multiple occasions in telephone calls that he made to ClearSpring.  During those calls, acting as the Senator, he stated that Hines’s HSA loan was paid in full and that the loan should be removed from his credit report.

This case was investigated by the United States Capitol Police and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor. If convicted, Hines faces a maximum penalty of three years in federal prison for each count.

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