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Palm Beach developer pleads guilty in investment fraud scheme

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Posted at 11:50 AM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-26 11:50:41-04

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Florida real estate developer has pleaded guilty in federal court in Connecticut to money laundering and tax offenses in connection with a failed hotel-condominium project.

Prosecutors say 61-year-old Robert Matthews, of Palm Beach, pleaded guilty Thursday to bilking foreign investors of millions of dollars by making attractive but false promises of celebrity and politician involvement in the project.

They say he moved investor funds through banks in Connecticut and Florida, and used the money to pay his and his wife Maria's credit card debts, and to purchase two properties in the small Connecticut town of Washington.

Prosecutors say the couple evaded paying taxes by using limited liability companies, a company bank account, and their attorney's trust account to pay personal expenses.

Both remain free pending sentencing at an undetermined date.