Man who taunted police in fraud case sentenced to year in jail

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After fleeing the country, Matthew Steven Gardiner taunted police searching for him in connection with defrauding an elderly woman.

“Good luck finding me,” court documents say he told investigators.

But authorities eventually did catch up to Matthew Steven Gardiner, and on Tuesday he was sentenced to a year in jail after pleading no contest to charges of grand theft and embezzlement from an elder or dependent adult. He was also placed on five years’ probation.

Gardiner already had 329 days of custody credits, and the jail website Tuesday morning no longer listed him in custody.

Police have said Gardiner used his employment at a local tax company to gain the trust of and defraud an elderly client. He fled the country in 2018 — possibly to the Ukraine — and was arrested in Miami, Fla. when he returned in October 2019.

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