Local Contractor Defrauded Church
In November of 2012, detectives from the District Attorney's Financial Crime Unit initiated an investigation into a reported allegation of a fraudulent business practice and theft commencing from the owner of a local construction business. The victim(s) in this case was St. John Baptist La Salle Church of Shillington. The business owner was identified as of Berks-Mont Construction of Reading. Additionally, Mathias was a parishioner of the church.
During the investigation, detectives learned that in the fall of 2011, the Pastor of St. John Baptist LaSalle Church of Shillington paid Robert A. Mathias $7,000 for work to be done on the church. The work included tearing down an existing porch, building a new porch, and repairs to the roof. The $7,000 represented a partial payment for the labor and materials, and upon completion of the project a remaining balance would be paid in full for a total of $10,580.00. Subsequently, Mathias cashed the $7,000 check for his own personal gain and never started the work. To date, no work has been done on the project and the money has never been refunded. The chuch has suffered a loss of $7,000.
As a result, on July 25, 2013, detectives obtained a warrant of arrest for Robert A. Mathias from Magisterial District Judge Nicholas M. Bentz for the aforementioned listed charges.
On August 5, 2013, at 12:45 p.m., Mathias surrendered to the District Attorney's Detective Unit. Detectives escorted Mathias to the Berks County Sheriff's Department for processing and arraignment. Mathias remains free on $10,000 bail.