Richmond bankruptcy attorney sentenced in $800,000 embezzlement

U.S. and World Business News

(AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Bruce H. Matson, a Richmond man who embezzled over $800,000 during his time as a bankruptcy attorney, has been sentenced to 44 months in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Matson was the court-appointed trustee for LandAmerica Financial Group, a real estate insurance and financial services company that faced bankruptcy proceedings following the 2008 financial crisis.

A federal investigation found that between 2015 and 2018, Matson personally embezzled over $800,000 from the trust set up to administer the bankruptcy. He plead guilty to obstruction of justice earlier this year following allegations that he made false statements to the U.S. Trustee’s Office in the course of their investigation.

In addition to the $800,000 he directly misappropriated, he is accused of siphoning $3.2 million in unauthorized payments to himself and others. These payments were enabled by language Matson snuck into a final bankruptcy agreement the night before the court was set to approve it.

According to the Justice Department statement, Matson “wrongfully obtained” more than $4 million in assets between 2015 and 2019.

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