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Press Release

Bluefield Man Sentenced for Federal Fraud Crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia
Defendant Embezzled More than $45,000 from Mercer County Treatment Center

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Matthew Huffman, 37, of Bluefield, was sentenced today to three years of federal probation, including 90 days on home detention with location monitoring, and ordered to pay $45,258.51 in restitution for theft or embezzlement in connection to healthcare services. Huffman admitted to stealing from the Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center while employed as its chief substance use disorder officer.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between October 2022 and January 2023, Huffman embezzled money from Southern Highlands including more than $5,000 it received from the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP). Southern Highlands is a non-profit medical treatment center that offers a variety of services including addiction treatment. COSSUP grants are distributed, in part, to treat and support those impacted by illicit substance use and misuse.

Huffman admitted that he forged signatures required to approve the use of COSSUP grants and other funds, and also used the names of patients and consumers no longer receiving services from Southern Highlands on the necessary forms. Huffman further admitted that he embezzled these funds for his personal gain, using the money to pay his utility bills, vehicle loan payments and to purchase gift cards and prepaid debit cards.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Owen Reynolds and Andrew D. Isabell prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-137.



Updated March 4, 2024

Health Care Fraud