ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg man is accused of laundering $170 million in fraudulent tax returns and using it to buy 6 new Mercedes Benz vehicles and a waterfront mansion, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The U.S. Attorney’s office alleged Matthew Walker Meredith, 39, submitted five fraudulent tax refund claims between Aug. 2019 and Feb. 2020 while he was on supervised release for a drug offense.
Meredith was convicted of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute ethylone – a synthetic “designer drug” similar to stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines – in 2016. He got out of prison in 2017 and began his term of supervised release.
Federal prosecutors claimed Meredith falsified his income and withholdings and was issued a refund check for $6,374,576.92 on Nov. 23, 2019. Meredith used the money to buy six new Mercedes Benz vehicles, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said totaled $843,269.32.
|Date of Purchase||Type of Vehicle||Cost|
|11.30.19||2020 Mercedes Benz S63AMG3||$187,327.68|
|11.30.19||2019 Mercedes Benz SL63||$156,404.27|
|11.30.19||2020 Mercedes Benz C63WS||$103,547.17|
|12.6.19||2020 Mercedes Benz GLE350W||$72,707.55|
|12.6.19||2020 Mercedes Benz AMG GTR||$232,368.12|
|12.7.19||2019 Mercedes Benz C63WS||$90,914.53|
Meredith also allegedly used laundered tax money to purchase a $2.625 million, 6,500 square-foot waterfront mansion in St. Petersburg on Dec. 5.
Meredith is charged with money laundering, theft of government property, and false claims against the government. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 75 years in prison.
An updated mugshot for Meredith was not available at the time of publishing.