As a result of an investigation undertaken by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force, current Village of El Portal Councilman Harold Eugene Mathis, Jr. has been charged with a number of felonies related to alleged thefts from his law firm employer. Mathis is charged with:
1 count – Organized Schemed to Defraud, 2nd Degree Felony
1 count – Grand Theft, 2nd Degree Felony
14 counts – Grand Theft, 3rd Degree Felony
7 counts – Petit Theft, 1st Degree Misdemeanor
20 Counts – Forgery, 3rd Degree Felony
20 counts – Uttering a Forged Instrument, 3rd Degree Felony
Harold Eugene Mathis, Jr. had been employed as a paralegal/office manager for a Miami law firm. One of his job duties was to prepare business credit card statements for review by the firm’s attorneys and prepare checks for signing by the firm’s partners to pay ongoing financial obligations. On or about March 2, 2019, Mathis’ employment appears to have been in serious jeopardy due to poor job performance. After failing to materialize for work and subsequently quitting his job at the law firm, Mathis was allowed to come to the office and clear out his desk. During this process, one of the law partners noticed what appeared to be a law firm credit card statement in the box of Mathis’ personal items. Upon closer inspection, it appeared that portions of the statement had been cut out of the document, potentially to alter the statement. Investigation revealed that 410 allegedly unauthorized purchases, amounting to over $22,000 of charges, fees and interests, were made.
Subsequent investigation revealed that checks allegedly from the law firm’s business checking account were allegedly deposited into Mathis’ personal checking account between March 2017 and February 2019. These 20 checks, amounting to over $23,000, allegedly appeared to have signatures that did not match the account’s genuine signatures. Additionally, it is alleged that cash payments of $1,900 made by a law firm client were never deposited to the firm’s account despite the client having received receipts from Mathis for these payments.
“When a business is victimized by an alleged employee theft, it usually involves a breech of trust by a respected member of the business team,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “That perceived betrayal of personal trust is what amplifies the shock caused by the theft itself.”
At present, an investigation into the activities of Harold Eugene Mathis, Jr. continues.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle will be available this afternoon to add some additional comments to this information. Please call 305-547-0535 to schedule a time.
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December 31, 2020
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December 30, 2020