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June 18, 2010

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(HOUSTON) - Edward Toliver, 36, formerly a resident of New Orleans, La., has been sentenced to federal prison for credit card fraud, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

 Toliver pleaded guilty to two counts of access device (credit card) fraud on March 11, 2010. He also admitted to violating the conditions of a term of supervised release imposed by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana following his conviction for access device fraud on June 26, 2006, by committing the instant offense. Today, United States District Judge Gray Miller sentenced Toliver to 41 months imprisonment without parole for the credit card fraud conviction in this district to be followed by six months imprisonment for the violation of the sentence imposed in the EDLA for a total of 47 months. Toliver was also ordered to thereafter serve a three-year-term of supervised release.

According to court documents, on July 28, 2009, Houston Police officers arrested Toliver in the Dillard’s parking lot near the Galleria Mall in Houston after observing what the officers believed was a narcotics transaction. As the officers approached, Toliver appeared to be hiding something under the dashboard of the vehicle in which he was seated and then typing on a laptop computer. The driver of the vehicle agreed to allow the officers to search the vehicle. During the search, the officers found 12 pre-paid credit cards and gift cards secreted in the fuse panel of the vehicle. Subsequent examination revealed that the magnetic strips on 10 of the 12 cards had been re-encoded with credit/debit card information that did not match the bank issued credit card number embossed on the face of the card. Also found in Toliver’s possession was a credit card reader/writer which is used to both read and re-encode the magnetic strips on the back of credit cards. A subsequent search of Toliver’s laptop computer resulted in the discovery of 497 unauthorized bank credit/debit card numbers. 

Toliver has been in federal custody without bond since his July 2009 arrest and will remain in custody pending a transfer to a Bureau of Prison’s facility to be designated in the near future.

The investigation leading to the federal charges was conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Houston Police Department, members of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force for the Southern District of Texas. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets and revover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

Assistant United States Attorney James R. Buchanan prosecuted the case.


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