Michigan man stole his identity to earn $200,000 in auto loans and buy 15 vehicles

A Michigan man is due back in federal court this month for allegedly using someone’s personal identification to secure more than $200,000 in loans to buy vehicles in the Detroit metro area and elsewhere.

According to a document filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Eddie Earl Hendrickson and another person conspired “to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud various financial institutions” between December 2019 and February 2020.

An affidavit a U.S. Secret Service special agent filed last year said Hendrickson first used a fraudulently obtained Social Security number and driver’s license to apply for a car loan at a car dealership in the county of Bay on December 23, 2019. The loan totaling $21,000 was for two Honda Motorcycles.

Hendrickson repeated the ruse nine more times, snagging a total of 15 motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and automobiles while securing $201,080 in loans, according to the filing.

Among the purchases: On Dec. 30, 2019, Hendrickson purchased a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee from Champion Chrysler Jeep Dodge RAM of Brighton after securing a $21,658 car loan, the special agent wrote.

On January 10, 2020, he purchased a 2018 Dodge Charger from Automania in Dearborn Heights with a car loan worth $36,468. Also that month, Hendrickson financed two 2019 Honda ATVs and a motorcycle totaling more than $17,637.32 at Genthe Honda Powersports in Southgate, according to the complaint.

In March 2020, a Genesee County Sheriff’s lieutenant contacted the man whose social security number Hendrickson used in the transactions. He has a similar name but has never allowed anyone to use his identity, according to the affidavit.

Hendrickson was arrested on unrelated charges and told investigators in April 2020 that he illegally purchased the vehicles, according to the court filing.

According to a charging document filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, a person listed only as “Person A” obtained the victim’s personal information. The auto loans were not paid, prosecutors said.

“It was further part of the conspiracy that after obtaining the vehicles … (Hendrickson and Person A) would keep the vehicles or sell the vehicles and retain the profits of their ill-gotten gains,” federal officials wrote.

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Two of the vehicles purchased by Hendrickson were tracked to a property in Flint where someone said they stored them for him, according to the 2021 criminal complaint.

Federal officials charge Hendrickson with impersonation, aggravated impersonation and bank fraud.

Hendrickson, 40, made his first appearance in federal court in January and consented to detention, records show.

A hearing is scheduled for March 15 at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris, records show.

An attorney listed as representing Hendrickson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.