Former Hope fire department treasurer charged with wire fraud

A Hope Volunteer Fire Department engine at a Nov. 2015 fish fry at Hauser High School. WRB photo.

A former Hope Volunteer Fire Department treasurer is facing federal wire fraud charges after allegedly taking more than $48,000 from the department.

Our news-gathering partners at RTV 6 TV are reporting that 47-year-old Mathew Mathis was indicted by a grand jury earlier this month on six counts of wire fraud.

An audit by the State Board of Accounts looked back at fire department transactions from 2015 to 2016 and determined that Mathis did not deposit money from a fish fry, wrote checks to himself and withdrew money from the department savings account.

Mathis was also also announced yesterday as one of 15 former public officials being targeted by a coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. “Operation Public Accountability.” seeks to recover more than $1 million dollars in public funds taken by former public officials.

Also targeted in that task force were:

  • 51 year old Clint Madden, who served as the Wayne Township trustee and treasurer of the Jonesville Volunteer Fire Department. He is accused of misappropriating more than $100,000 dollars from those groups.
  • Former Rock Creek Township Trustee, 50-year-old David Buzzard  s facing state charges for allegedly overpaying himself and his wife $27,000

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said that public officials work for the people, not the other way around.