ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) — The former president and director of Secor, Inc., a federal halfway house in Lebanon used to house inmates, pleaded guilty to making false statements and wire fraud on Thursday.
Matthew Castle, 35, of Lebanon, Virginia and the company Secor, Inc. each pleaded guilty to one count of making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branch of the United States and one count of wire fraud. The company pleaded guilty through its attorney.
“This company and its former president and director were paid to house offenders for the Bureau of Prisons and instead of taking on that responsibility, they chose to defraud the American taxpayers and the Bureau of Prisons,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said.
In 2018, Secor entered a contract with the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) that allowed some offenders under the care of Secor to be assigned to “home confinement,” meaning those offenders resided at an approved residence not owned by Secor, a release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said.
According to the DOJ, Castle and Secor failed to meet these requirements.
“Secor did not outfit many of the home-confinement offenders with GPS monitoring and failed to conduct home visits as required,” the release stated. “Nonetheless, Castle routinely completed documentation certifying that he had conducted such visits and noted no issues. In addition to signing these phony documents himself, Castle often wrote false observations like “things were going well,” and the offender “had no questions or concerns to address at the time.”
Each month, Castle reportedly submitted invoices to the BOP for payments under the contract with Secor and the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The BOP then issued payments to Secor based on the representations that Castle and Secor were providing home-confinement services in compliance with the contract, the DOJ said.
Castle will serve at least one year in federal prison under the plea agreement. He will serve between 12 and 21 months in prison, the DOJ stated. Secor will serve a term of probation of one to five years.
Both Castle and Secor will pay $208,105 in restitution, forfeit $40,000, and pay an additional $30,000 in fines.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the Russell County Sheriff’s Office and the BOP.