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Date: 11-16-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Gary E. Matthews

Case Number: 1:20-cr-10077

Judge: Sara Darrow

Court: United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois (Peoria County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Peoria

Defendant's Attorney:



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Description: Peoria, Illinois criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with five counts of mail fraud and 13 counts of money laundering.

A federal jury returned guilty verdicts after a day and a half of deliberations in the trial against Pere Marquette Hotel developers Gary E. Matthews, 81, of East Peoria, Illinois, and Monte J. Brannan, 70, of Peoria, Illinois. Matthews and Brannan were jointly charged with five counts of mail fraud and 13 counts of money laundering. Brannan was also charged, individually, with three counts related to bankruptcy fraud committed in his personal bankruptcy case. Matthews was found guilty on all mail fraud charges and 12 of the 13 money laundering counts. Brannan, who earlier in the trial had pleaded guilty to the bankruptcy fraud counts, was convicted on all 18 remaining counts. Sentencing for both Matthews and Brannan is scheduled for March 27, 2024, at the U.S. Courthouse in Peoria, Illinois.

Over 11 days of testimony, the government presented evidence to establish that Matthews and Brannan orchestrated a scheme to defraud their investors, the City of Peoria, Core Construction, Indure, and other lenders and creditors. The pair had conspired to disguise the fact that they were taking money from the hotel complex operations by claiming they were using the funds to pay for the mortgage and real estate taxes for the hotel. In the course of that scheme, the two illegally transferred funds to themselves in an effort to disguise the source and ownership of the money they had taken.

Both Matthews and Brannan were released with their current bonds in full force and effect. At sentencing, the defendants face statutory penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the mail fraud and money laundering charges, followed by up to five years of supervised release. The bankruptcy charges carry a possibility of up to five years’ imprisonment and up to three years of supervised release. Each of the counts carries the possibility of a $250,000 fine.

The case investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The bankruptcy fraud charge was referred for criminal prosecution by the Office of the United States Trustee for Region 10, Nancy J. Gargula. The U.S. Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws. Region 10 is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Indiana, and Peoria, Illinois. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Douglas F. McMeyer, Ronald L. Hanna, and William J. Lynch represented the government at trial. The case was presented to a federal grand jury for indictment by Criminal Chief Darilynn J. Knauss.

18:1341.F: FRAUDS AND SWINDLES Starting in or about 2008 and continuing to in or about 2018, at Peoria, in the Central District of Illinois and elsewhere, defendants herein Mail Fraud all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
(1-5)
18:1956-4999.F: MONEY LAUNDERING - FRAUD, OTHER Starting in or about 2014 and continuing to in or about 2018, in the Central District of Illinois and elsewhere, the defendants herein Money Laundering Conspiracy all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).
(6)
18:1956-4999.F: MONEY LAUNDERING - FRAUD, OTHER On or about the listed dates, in the Central District of Illinois and elsewhere, defendants herein, did knowingly Money Laundering all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956(a)(1)(B)(i) and 2.
(8-15)
18:1957-5800.F: ENGAGING IN MONETARY TRANSACTIONS On or about the listed dates, in the Central District of Illinois and elsewhere, defendants herein, did knowingly Money Laundering all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1957 and 2.
(16-18)

Outcome: MOTION for Acquittal Judgment of Acquittal, MOTION for New Trial by Gary E Matthews. (Rantisi, Sharbel) (Entered: 11/16/2023)

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