St. Charles Herald-Guide

School board ruse nets St. Rose scammer jail time

By Jonathan Menard - November 8, 2013

A St. Rose man was sentenced to 35 days in prison after pretending to be an employee of the St. Charles Parish School Board and ordering several laptops.

In addition to the jail sentence, 51-year-old Matthew Gill, of 2 Summerton Drive 380, was placed on probation for three years after pleading guilty to illegal possession of stolen things.

The incident came to light when a computer company in Houma contacted the School Board after they received an email requesting a quote for 25 computers. The email claimed to come from Thomas Bailey, who does in fact work for the school district. However, the email address was suspicious because it is not one used by school employees.

The School Board contacted the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office who attempted to set up a sting operation to catch the man responsible. They asked the computer company to send six boxes filled with books and magazines to the address they were given in the email.

While St. Charles Parish deputies were planning the operation, the man calling himself Thomas Bailey sent another email to the computer company telling them that he would not be home and requesting that the St. Rose Fed Ex hold on to his packages.

He wrote that Matthew Gill would pick up the packages for him.

Deputies were waiting at the Fed Ex for Gill to pick up the fake computer packages, but he never showed. Gill was later arrested at his St. Rose home.

During the investigation, police also learned that the Bogalusa Police Department was investigating an incident where a man named Matthew Gill purchased 10 Apple computers for $25,900 using a fraudulent Bogalusa School Board purchase order. The packages containing the Apple computers were sent to 380 Summerton Drive in St. Rose.

However, before they arrived at that address, they were picked up by Gill at a Metairie UPS.

When detectives searched Gill’s home, they say they recovered computers related to the Bogalusa theft.

School board ruse nets St. Rose scammer jail time