St. Petersburg man who orchestrated multimillion dollar fraud scheme while on supervised release sent back to prison for theft of government property and money laundering


Date: June 12, 2023


Tampa, FL — U.S. District Judge James S. Moody has sentenced Matthew Walker Meredith of St. Petersburg to six years in federal prison for theft of government money and money laundering. As part of his sentence, the Court also entered an order forfeiting real property, six Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and $6,374,576.92, which represents the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct. Meredith pleaded guilty on March 24, 2023.

According to court documents, in 2016, Meredith was sentenced in federal court to three years' imprisonment for conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute Ethylone, also known as "Molly." Those charges stemmed from Meredith's importation of kilogram quantities of Ethylone from China. The Bureau of Prisons released Meredith in October 2017, and he began serving a three-year term of federal supervised release. While under federal supervision, Meredith began to submit claims for tax refunds to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the names of entities under his control. Specifically, in just six months, Meredith submitted five claims to the IRS seeking in excess of $170 million. Each claim was false and fraudulent, in that Meredith falsified both his income and withholdings.

On November 23, 2019, the IRS issued Meredith a refund check in the amount of $6,374,576.92, which Meredith quickly deposited into his bank account. In the weeks that followed, Meredith laundered the illicit proceeds by purchasing luxury vehicles and a waterfront home. Specifically, and as described below, in one week he purchased six new Mercedes-Benz totaling $843,269.32.

Date of purchase Type of vehicle Cost
11/30/19 2020 Mercedes-Benz S63AMG3 $187,327.68
11/30/19 2019 Mercedes-Benz SL63 $156,404.27
11/30/19 2020 Mercedes-Benz C63WS $103,547.17
12/6/19 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE350W $72,707.55
12/6/19 2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GTR $232,368.12
12/7/19 2019 Mercedes-Benz C63WS $90,914.53

And on December 5, 2019, Meredith purchased, in cash, a 6,500 square foot waterfront mansion in St. Petersburg, for $2,625,000.

"The American tax system is designed to provide vital government services to our people. It is not a slush fund for thieves and fraudsters," said Brian J. Payne, IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge. "As today's sentence demonstrates, those who illegally target our nation's tax dollars for personal financial gain, will face criminal prosecution and a lengthy stay in prison."

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton C. Gammons.