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Press Release

New York Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud the Government

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Brooklyn, New York, man convicted of Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Defraud the Government, and False Claim was sentenced by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.

Manaen Dean Matthews, age 35, was sentenced on July 25, 2019, to 6 and 1/2 years in federal prison, and was ordered to pay a $300 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund and $523,250.00 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

The conviction stems from Matthews devising a scheme to obtain personal information from individuals living on the Pine Ridge Reservation and elsewhere.  In the course of his scheme, Matthews directed several other individuals to obtain personal information from tribal citizens by falsely telling them they would lawfully receive large tax refunds or other government payments.  Matthews then used the personal information obtained to knowingly file fraudulent personal income tax returns and falsely reporting earnings from self-employment, when in fact the tribal citizens had not received the income reported on their tax returns and were not due the tax refunds shown on their tax returns. 

In all, from 2015 through 2018, Matthews knowingly made false claims against the United States totaling approximately $3,621,770.20 by filing 1,201 fraudulent federal income tax returns.  As a result of his fraudulent scheme, Matthews personally obtained $523,250.00. 

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case.         

Matthews was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

Updated August 12, 2019

Financial Fraud