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Press Release

Serial Check Thief Sentenced to More That 4 Years in Prison for Bank Fraud and Identity Theft Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDWARD WILLIAMS, 58, of Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to 54 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraud and identity theft offenses stemming from a mail theft and check cashing scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Williams stole checks in a variety of ways and altered or filled out the checks to make them payable to him, his co-conspirators, or stolen identities that he has used.

One victim of this scheme was a Windsor resident who had written a check payable to American Express, mailed the check with his American Express bill, and later discovered that the check had been altered and cashed for $985.30.  Another individual whose identity Williams used to cash this check and commit other crimes was subsequently wrongly arrested by a local police department.

Other victims of this scheme include a West Hartford couple who had left a holiday card containing a $15 check for their newspaper delivery person outside of their mailbox, and later discovered it had been altered and cashed for $870; a West Hartford resident who learned that she had a box of checks she ordered stolen after Williams attempted to cash one of the checks for $400; and an individual who had personal checks stolen from a book he kept at his business, and was subsequently informed that Williams had deposited four of the checks totaling more than $5,000 into a bank account Williams had opened.

In total, between August 2016 and June 2017, Williams, or his co-conspirators, successfully cashed $27,311.35 in fraudulently obtained checks.  He, or others working with him, also attempted to cash $40,861.65 in fraudulently obtained checks.

Williams has been detained since his arrest on October 18, 2017.  On November 5, 2018, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Williams’ criminal history includes 74 arrests and numerous convictions, including convictions for forgery, larceny and burglary offenses.

This matter was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, with the assistance of several police departments, including the South Windsor and East Hartford Police Departments.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala V. Nagala and Elena L. Coronado.

Updated May 1, 2019

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft