Springfield Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Federal Prison for Wire Fraud in Connection with Fraudulent Scheme to Obtain Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that a federal grand jury recently returned a fifteen-count indictment charging Monty Matthews, age 52, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with wire fraud, extortion in interstate communications, attempted escape, and assault on an officer.
According to the indictment, between the summer of 2017 and March 2022, Matthews devised a fraud scheme targeting elderly victims through false representations about the existence of companies and investment opportunities, resulting in a loss of more than $1M. During the period of the scheme, Matthews would send false and, at times, threatening messages via cellular phone to the victims to induce them to make and continue to make investments in the form of cash that could only be delivered to him. Matthews, however, never invested any of the cash on behalf of the victims, nor returned any type of refund, profit, dividend, interest, or any other thing of value to them. After his arrest on March 23, 2022, Matthews attempted to escape from the custody of FBI agents and, in the process of attempting to escape, assaulted two FBI special agents.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, with assistance by Acadian Ambulance personnel, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul L. Pugliese.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.