Fresh Start

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All of Moe Mathews real estate businesses contain the name “Fresh Start.”  Fresh Start Property Solutions, Fresh Start Group LLC, Fresh Start Renovations LLC, Fresh Start Realty LLC and Fresh Start Investments. For ten years, Mathews had been active in all aspects of real estate as an agent, investor, and house flipper. Maybe Mathews’ next venture can be called “Fresh Start Prison Time” because that is where Mathews is going for the next forty-one months after pleading guilty to theft of funds from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Mathews was first able to receive funds by legitimately filing for PPP funds based on his immediate business needs. But apparently Mathews felt no relief with the awarded sum. “Serious distress” according to Mathews is what pushed him to commit fraud. To a fraudster, there is nothing like stealing money to ease some stress.

Mathews went on to file 38 fraudulent applications seeking $1.7 million in PPP loans and receiving a total of $1.1 million. When submitting the applications, Mathews misrepresented the numbers of employees and average monthly payroll for the businesses and concealed evidence that would falsify disprove the business needs in his applications. Once the fraudulent applications were approved, the funds were not used in according with the program’s requirements.

On October 7, 2022, Mathews was sentenced to full restitution of $1.1 million to the Small Business Association and the eight banks he received funds from, along with prison time. This was not Mathews only brush with the law ending with monetary settlements. This case comes two years after a group of lawsuits and investigations were brought against Mathews by investors who said their real estate projects with Mathews were not completed according to contracts.  The lawsuits were resolved last year with a cash settlement from Mathews that totaled about $700,000.

Great job by the Small Business Administration for bringing this case to justice. Along with time in prison, Mathews has been ordered full restitution to the eight banks that he stole from.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Local real estate investor sentenced to 41 months in prison for $1M PPP fraud” published by Richmond Biz Sense on October 10, 2022

A local real estate agent, investor and house flipper has been sentenced to nearly three and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to defrauding the federal government and eight banks out of more than $1 million in COVID relief funds.

Moe Mathews, co-owner and manager of Rockville-based brokerage Fresh Start Team and other businesses using the “Fresh Start” name, was sentenced Friday to 41 months in a low-security prison for his admitted role in stealing $1.1 million in loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.