Bob Matthews, the former millionaire Nantucket developer and previous owner of The Point Breeze hotel on Easton Street is headed to prison for more than five years after pleading guilty to numerous charges including conspiracy, money laundering, and tax evasion.
Matthews, 65, went belly-up in his bid to renovate and convert the Point Breeze (now the Nantucket Hotel) into a luxury condo club after defaulting on a $41 million loan.
The sentence was handed down at a federal courthouse in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where prosecutors described Matthews as a “grifter” who defrauded investors and banks of millions of dollars through schemes related to the Palm House hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, and the Point Breeze. In Florida, more than 60 investors sent Matthews at least $500,000 each for the Palm House project but he used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle and pay his debts.
During the sentencing hearing, Matthews apologized to those he had scammed and acknowledged that he had used investors’ money to maintain his lifestyle, Hearst Connecticut Media reported.
Matthews’ ex-wife Mia is a co-defendant in the case who has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Matthews bid to convert the Point Breeze into a luxury club with hotel residences collapsed in spectacular fashion in 2009, and TD Bank took control of the property following a foreclosure auction in February 2010. He was later ordered to pay more than $2 million to three subcontractors who worked on the failed project and sued Matthews for failing to compensate them. It is believed to be the largest monetary judgment in Nantucket Superior Court history.
For more than a decade, Matthews managed to avoid serious repercussions for the fraud perpetrated on Nantucket and in Florida. Island attorney Arthur Reade, who represented TD Bank during the Point Breeze fiasco, said Matthews was “like the cat that had nine lives.”
But on Monday, it all caught up with Matthews who must report to prison on Oct. 23rd.