Louisiana Man Sentenced to 57 Months and Ordered to Pay $1 Million+ for Fraudulent Investment Scheme Affecting Elderly Victims

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Published March 08, 2023

Louisiana Man Sentenced to 57 Months and Ordered to Pay $1 Million+ for Fraudulent Investment Scheme Affecting Elderly Victims

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – A Louisiana man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution for a fraudulent investment scheme affecting elderly victims.

On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced Monty Matthews, age 52, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 57 months (4 years, 9 months) in federal prison following his convictions for wire fraud, interstate communication of an extortionate threat, and attempted escape. The Court further sentenced Matthews to serve three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $1,066,853.

In announcing the sentence, Judge deGravelles stated that, in determining an appropriate sentence, he considered the impact of Matthews’ criminal conduct on victims aged 60 and older; the loss of over $1,000,000 of the victims’ retirement savings, all of which went to Matthews; and the fact that the victims were left with virtually no retirement savings. Judge deGravelles also commented on the injuries sustained by FBI officers as a result of Matthews’ attempt to escape.

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Matthews persuaded two victims in August 2017 that he could make investments on their behalf at very high rates of return. Matthews acted as the victims’ investment team leader, demanding that they maintain a $550,000 investment account with him. The victims made over 4,000 cash drops to Matthews based on his fraudulent pledges and representations of what were, in fact, non-existent investment opportunities, as well as his threat to hurt the victims if they did not continue to make payments.
Also, on March 23, 2022, Matthews was detained by two special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation following a valid arrest for federal felony charges. Matthews attempted to leave custody, but authorities were able to stop him.

The FBI and the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. Paul L. Pugliese was the prosecutor in this case.

The Elder Justice Initiative of the Department of Justice aims to combat elder financial exploitation by increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute financial scams that target seniors; educating older adults on how to identify scams and avoid becoming victims of financial fraud; and promoting greater coordination with law enforcement partners. Please visit https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice for further information. If you or someone you know is 60 or older and a victim of financial fraud, call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).