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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 12, 2021

Birmingham Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Birmingham man pleaded guilty today to kidnapping and collecting ransom money, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis. 

Matthew Amos Burke, 35, pleaded guilty to kidnapping, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.  He entered his plea pursuant to a binding plea agreement with the government in which the parties jointly recommended Burke be sentenced to 204 months in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for November 2, 2021, before U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon.

According to the plea agreement, on September 11, 2020, Burke unlawfully entered the home of the victim.  Burke then abducted the victim and transported him to Burke’s residence, where the victim was forced to transfer $250,000 from his bank account  into another bank account as directed by Burke.  Once $250,000 was transferred, Burke drove the victim back to his residence and released him. The victim then contacted the Birmingham Police Department and the Mountain Brook Police Department.

The FBI and Secret Service investigated the case along with the Birmingham Police Department and the Mountain Brook Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys John Camp and William Simpson are prosecuting the case. 

Updated August 13, 2021