SALT LAKE CITY – A U.S. District Court Judge sentenced Matthew Ambrose Baker, 49, of Spanish Fork, Utah, to one year imprisonment and three-years’ supervised release for crimes committed while on pretrial release for wire fraud. This sentence will run consecutively to a 27 month sentence previously imposed for the wire fraud, resulting a total sentence of 39 months’ incarceration.
According to court documents, in 2020, Baker was serving a home-custodial sentence for a 2019 federal healthcare fraud conviction when Baker committed wire fraud by attempting to divert proceeds of a real estate transaction from a family member to himself. In December 2022, a federal jury found Baker guilty of two counts of wire fraud for that conduct. Baker was sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment in July 2023 for the wire fraud and ordered to pay his family member $445,000 in restitution.
A bench trial was held in November 2023 on counts related to crimes committed by Baker while on pretrial release in the real estate transaction wire fraud case. During the bench trial, Baker was found guilty of contempt and being a felon in possession of ammunition. The evidence at trial showed that, on September 23, 2020, Baker was placed on pretrial release in connection with the wire fraud case. As a condition of his release, Baker was ordered not to transfer substantial assets over $1500, unless approved by a United States Probation Officer. Baker repeatedly violated this condition from August 2021 through February 2022. In total, Baker transferred more than $1,000,000 in assets without obtaining approval from his supervision officer, and without notifying the supervision officer of the transfers.
The evidence at trial further established that in March 2022, U.S. Probation Officers recovered two types of ammunition at Baker’s home. The first box contained 40 rounds of .38 special ammunition and was found in a dresser with men’s underwear and socks. The second box contained approximately 37 rounds of 9mm ammunition and was found in a duffel bag with more than $80,000 in cash. Baker was the only adult male who lived in the home.
U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah and the FBI made the announcement.
“Mr. Baker’s decision to engage in new fraud while serving a custodial sentence for a 2019 fraud case was brazen,” said U.S. Attorney Trina A. Higgins for the District of Utah. “His subsequent decision to repeatedly violate his conditions of release and commit new crimes while awaiting trial in the fraud case demonstrates a complete lack of respect for our laws and the court. Repeated maleficence will not be tolerated.”
The case was investigated by the FBI Salt Lake City Field Office.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer K. Muyskens and Stewart M. Young of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah prosecuted the case.