Man pleads guilty to using company credit card to buy gas for his friends

February 22, 2024
 |
Northampton County Courthouse

By Linda Cicoira

A former employee of Meyers & Tabakin Furniture, in Onley, admitted Tuesday in Northampton Circuit Court to illegally using his company credit card at an Exmore gas station.

    Thirty-two-year-old Tyrell Lemar Matthews, of Parksley, didn’t just buy petrol for the furniture store’s delivery truck. He also filled up the gas tanks of his friends about 40 times. The friends stopped by the County Line store while he was there and he offered them a half-price deal for a total of more than $2,000 worth of fuel.

The high credit card charges alerted the company that something was wrong, which led to Matthews being indicted on counts of credit card theft, credit card fraud, and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud between April and June of 2023.

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In a plea bargain with Commonwealth’s Attorney Jack Thornton and defense lawyer Marsha Carter, the conspiracy to commit fraud charge wasn’t prosecuted and the fraud charge was reduced to a misdemeanor.

He pleaded guilty to credit card theft and misdemeanor fraud and was given a total of ten years in suspended sentences with the condition that he pay restitution by January 2025.

Judge Leslie L. Lilley said he struggled with accepting the bargain since it was such a “brazen offense.” He wondered how the defendant thought he would ever get away with it.

“I was just in a terrible spot,” Matthews said. “I have an autistic child … high costs … You always get caught. Karma always comes back and gets you.”

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“It’s a shame that he was so foolish in ruining his own life,” his lawyer said, lamenting on the felony conviction.

     “This is a blemish you do not want,” the judge said. “This is a blemish that almost put you in the penitentiary. I’d pay it off,” he warned the defendant.

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