A former Mechanicsville business owner pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to allegations he had continued to receive retirement funds being paid out to his late mother and spent the money on personal effects as well as his business.
Victor Demattia, 64, was accused in an August indictment of keeping Social Security retirement benefits and civil service retirement pensions belonging to his mother, Endla Demattia, who had died in 2009, which had been deposited into a joint account shared between him and his mother.
A stipulation of facts following Demattia’s plea, signed by his attorney, federal public defender John Chamble, says he began keeping the illicit retirement funds immediately following his mother’s early 2009 death until the summer of 2018.
The funds continued to be paid out because he did not notify the agencies of his mother’s death, and totaled $369,018 from the civil service pensions and $40,403 from Social Security following his mother’s death, totaling $409,421, court papers say.
He “would withdraw and spend the CSRS and RIB funds each month, typically by checks he endorsed, payable to himself or to his now-defunct medical transport business,” the documents say.
Demattia was president of the now-defunct Patriot Medical Transport ambulance service until filing for bankruptcy and later closing, and more recently worked for AAA Transport and the Mechanicsville Volunteer Rescue Squad. In 2015, he spoke for the rescue squad before the St. Mary’s County commissioners on a proposal for a rescue tax increase for that district. In an interview with federal investigators in March 2019, months prior to his indictment, Demattia confessed to spending the funds, admitting he knew he was not entitled to them, court papers say, and “stated that he nonetheless spent the funds because he needed them to cover expenses for his failing business such as payroll, fuel, receivables and other operating expenses,” as well as spending money on personal expenses following that company’s bankruptcy and closure.
Demattia is scheduled for a sentencing hearing in late September before U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messite, and has already agreed to pay the U.S. government the full amount as part of his plea agreement.