United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced Monty Matthews, age 52, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 57 months in federal prison following his convictions for wire fraud, interstate communication of an extortionate threat, and attempted escape. The Court further sentenced Matthews to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $1,066,853.
In announcing the sentence, Judge deGravelles commented that, in determining an appropriate sentence, he considered the impact of Matthews’ criminal conduct on victims aged 60 and older; that resulted in the loss of over $1,000,000 of the victims’ retirement savings, which all went to Matthews; and the fact that the victims were left with virtually no retirement savings. Judge deGravelles also commented on injuries to FBI agents resulting from Matthews’ attempt to escape custody.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, in August 2017, Matthews advised two victims that he could make investments on their behalf and with very high rates of return. Matthews acted as the victims’ investment team lead, and demanded that they needed to maintain an investment account with him exceeding $550,000. Based on Matthews’ false assurances and representations regarding what were, in fact, non-existent investment opportunities, along with his threat to injure the victims if they did not continue to make payments, the victims made over 4,000 cash drops to Matthews. In addition, on March 23, 2022, Matthews was in in the custody of two special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation due to a lawful arrest relating to federal felony charges. Matthews attempted to escape from custody, but agents were able to prevent him from fleeing.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Paul L. Pugliese.
The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative aims to combat elder financial exploitation by expanding efforts to investigate and prosecute financial scams that target seniors; educate older adults on how to identify scams and avoid becoming victims of financial fraud; and promote greater coordination with law enforcement partners. For more information, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice. If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has been a victim of financial fraud, help is available at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).