New Orleans man sentenced for credit card fraud scheme

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – On June 30, 2022 United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced MAURICE DURIO, age 42, a New Orleans native to 108 months in federal prison for his role in a massive credit card fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to the court records, DURIO previously pleaded guilty to a credit card fraud charge.  In a sworn factual basis, DURIO admitted that he began making fraudulent credit cards in New Orleans before eventually renting office space in an office park in Houston to expand his operation.  He outfitted the space with equipment used to make fraudulent credit cards.  Over the next several years, DURIO and his co-defendant, EDWARD TOLIVER, who also operated a card manufacturing plant in the same office park, obtained hundreds of thousands of stolen credit card numbers from a variety of sources, including a computer hacker TOLIVER had met in prison and by purchasing them on the dark web.

DURIO and TOLIVER, with the assistance of several co-conspirators, created and/or downloaded credit card templates on laptop computers and transferred the stolen credit card numbers into the templates, which were then used to create tens of thousands of fraudulent access devices.  The cards would generally be printed in batches with the same name appearing on numerous cards.  The name was typically the real name of a co-conspirator.  The cards were embossed with numbers, and corresponding account information was encoded on the strips on the back of the cards.  The names of the co-conspirators/users of the fraudulent cards did not correspond to the actual account holders, who had not given permission for their accounts to be used.  DURIO and TOLIVER distributed thousands of fraudulent access devices to numerous individuals who then used them to fraudulently obtain things of value, including merchandise and gift cards.

The Secret Service, with the assistance of local law enforcement, investigated numerous instances in which individuals were caught with cards manufactured at the Houston plants operated by DURIO and TOLIVER.  Agents were able to tie these card seizures to the plants where DURIO and TOLIVER were making the cards through several means.

In July 2014, a federal search warrant was executed at the Houston office park and agents seized device making equipment, including embossers, scanners, and high-end printers, thousands of cards, and a laptop computer.  The computer had approximately 80,000 card numbers in files, as well as spreadsheets used to move the card numbers from the text files they came in when obtained through the dark web to the actual credit cards.  Agents also obtained other laptops used by DURIO and TOLIVER that contained approximately 300,000 additional card numbers.

The scheme used various methods to monetize the fraudulent credit card production.  First, DURIO and TOLIVER would simply sell cards.  The buyer would pay them a set amount and then get to keep whatever the buyer could purchase with the cards.  Second, DURIO and TOLIVER would provide cards with the idea that the person getting the cards would buy merchandise and then sell the merchandise at a discount for cash and kick back some of the cash.  Third, DURIO and TOLIVER would provide cards and the person getting the cards would buy gifts cards, some of which were kicked back.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney David Haller.