Sunday, July 5, 2020

Indianapolis attorney gets probation for felony theft conviction

An Indianapolis attorney who pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge for stealing from a charity for the benefit of sick children has been sentenced to six months of probation.

Matthew R. Breeden, 42, was ordered to serve 180 days of probation when he was sentenced June 10 by Marion Superior Magistrate Judge Stanley Kroh.

Breeden was charged in March and soon pleaded guilty to a charge of Level 6 felony theft that accused him of converting just less than $43,000 for his own use from DD Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization founded by David Dusick that raised money for Riley Children’s Hospital. Breeden served as chief financial officer for the foundation and for RaceTrack Engineering of Speedway, which also was owned by Dusick.

Sarah Latdrik, chief of staff for both DD Foundation and RaceTrack Engineering, grew suspicious about multiple transfers of money Breeden had made from the business to the foundation and reported her concerns to Speedway police, who found probable cause for a theft charge.

Among other things, police found Breeden had used the foundation account to pay for a $5,000 computer, hotel stays, jewelry, Pacers tickets, a puppy and a Miami Beach vacation “in support of a romantic relationship” with a female Indiana State University student.

“There appeared to be a pattern of gifts, hotels, vacations, grocery stores, car payments, housing payments, PayPal transfers, and numerous other methods of financial support given to (the student) by way of Breeden and the DD Foundation account,” according to the probable cause affidavit. “Latdrik has confirmed none of these purchases were authorized or in support of legitimate business functions in Breeden’s role as CFO. In addition to the funds illegally spent from the DD Foundation account, it appears Breeden directly took money from the RaceTrack Engineering bank account and vendor invoices in an apparent attempt to fund his spending from the DD Foundation account.”

In sentencing Breeden, Kroh found as mitigators that Breeden had no criminal history, was remorseful and admitted his mistakes with apologies and paid restitution in full. This was balanced by aggravating factors including violating a position of trust and orchestrating a scheme that was ongoing for eight months and involved substantial amounts of money.

The court also noted that Breeden may petition the court for alternative misdemeanor sentencing upon successful completion of probation.

Separately, Breeden is among more than 150 Indiana lawyers facing a pending suspension in a court order issued Wednesday for failure to pay fees or meet continuing legal education requirements.

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Indianapolis attorney gets probation for felony theft conviction

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