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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal grand jury today indicted two persons alleging they collected ransom money as part of a kidnapping conspiracy, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick Davis.
A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Matthew Amos Burke, 34, and Tabatha Nicole Hodges, 32, each with one count of conspiracy and one count of kidnapping.
According to the indictment, on September 11, 2020, Burke and Hodges traveled to a residence in Jefferson County, Alabama and unlawfully entered an individual’s home. They abducted him and transported him to a residence in Remlap, Alabama, in an effort to obtain ransom money in the amount of $250,000. A wire transfer in the amount of $250,000 was sent to a bank account belonging to Hodges. After receiving the ransom money, Burke and Hodges transported the individual back to his residence and released him. Burke told him that his family would be killed if he called the police about the kidnapping or the ransom.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison. The maximum penalty for kidnapping is up to life in prison.
FBI and United States Secret Service investigated the case, along with Birmingham Police Department, and Mountain Brook Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John G. Camp and Assistant United States Attorney William G. Simpson.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.