Bruce Matson earns early release from prison

12.29R Law Matson new main

Bruce Matson’s law license was revoked by the Virginia State Bar as a result of his crimes. (BizSense file)

Bruce Matson, the disgraced Richmond attorney and bankruptcy trustee, will see an early end to his stint in federal prison.

Sentenced in late 2021 to 44 months related to his theft of millions of dollars from the LandAmerica bankruptcy estate he was entrusted to oversee, Matson is now set to be released from federal custody on Sept. 16 of this year, according to records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Based on the original length of his sentence and his initial date of incarceration on Nov. 22, 2021, Matson could have served time until mid-2025. His expected release four months from now means Matson will have cut his sentence nearly in half.

To begin his release process, BOP records state that Matson was recently transferred from the low-security Federal Correctional Institution Morgantown in West Virginia to community confinement overseen by the BOP’s Baltimore Residential Reentry Management Office.

That means he’s either in home confinement or a halfway house, though records don’t specify and the BOP said it does not comment on specific inmates’ circumstances.

Matson fci morgantown

Matson served much of his time at FCI Morgantown, a minimum-security compound in West Virginia. (BizSense file images)

While the BOP would not explain explicitly why Matson is getting out early, federal inmates are generally able to earn “good conduct time.” That equates to as much as 54 days shaved off of each year of an imposed sentence.

Additionally, the federal First Step Act, passed in 2018, also allows inmates to earn added credit toward a lighter sentence for completing approved “Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction programs or Productive Activities.”

It’s unclear whether the early release affects the three years of supervised release Matson was to have served based on his initial sentence from U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney.

An email to Matson was not returned by press time.

A veteran of the Richmond legal scene, Matson spent the bulk of his career with the now-collapsed LeClairRyan law firm. During his time at the firm, Matson served as trustee of the complicated bankruptcy liquidation of LandAmerica Financial Group, a once-massive title insurance company headquartered in Henrico County.

Matson brought the case to a seemingly successful conclusion, recovering billions of dollars for LandAmerica’s many creditors.

Matson closed the case in 2015, leaving only a wind-down budget of around $3 million that was supposed to be held in a trust account through 2021. However, during the course of the LeClairRyan bankruptcy process that account was discovered to have been emptied. Matson eventually admitted that he removed the funds and attempted to justify his actions, before being charged criminally by federal prosecutors. It was ultimately discovered that he stole bankruptcy funds on more than one occasion and he pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. He also surrendered his law license as a result of the scandal.

The winding down of Matson’s time in prison coincides with the winding down of the revived LandAmerica bankruptcy estate. Ben Ackerly, the substitute trustee who took over the case in the wake of Matson’s theft, recently disbursed the estate’s remaining funds to creditors and told the bankruptcy court he intends to close the case out for good.

12.29R Law Matson new main

Bruce Matson’s law license was revoked by the Virginia State Bar as a result of his crimes. (BizSense file)

Bruce Matson, the disgraced Richmond attorney and bankruptcy trustee, will see an early end to his stint in federal prison.

Sentenced in late 2021 to 44 months related to his theft of millions of dollars from the LandAmerica bankruptcy estate he was entrusted to oversee, Matson is now set to be released from federal custody on Sept. 16 of this year, according to records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Based on the original length of his sentence and his initial date of incarceration on Nov. 22, 2021, Matson could have served time until mid-2025. His expected release four months from now means Matson will have cut his sentence nearly in half.

To begin his release process, BOP records state that Matson was recently transferred from the low-security Federal Correctional Institution Morgantown in West Virginia to community confinement overseen by the BOP’s Baltimore Residential Reentry Management Office.

That means he’s either in home confinement or a halfway house, though records don’t specify and the BOP said it does not comment on specific inmates’ circumstances.

Matson fci morgantown

Matson served much of his time at FCI Morgantown, a minimum-security compound in West Virginia. (BizSense file images)

While the BOP would not explain explicitly why Matson is getting out early, federal inmates are generally able to earn “good conduct time.” That equates to as much as 54 days shaved off of each year of an imposed sentence.

Additionally, the federal First Step Act, passed in 2018, also allows inmates to earn added credit toward a lighter sentence for completing approved “Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction programs or Productive Activities.”

It’s unclear whether the early release affects the three years of supervised release Matson was to have served based on his initial sentence from U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney.

An email to Matson was not returned by press time.

A veteran of the Richmond legal scene, Matson spent the bulk of his career with the now-collapsed LeClairRyan law firm. During his time at the firm, Matson served as trustee of the complicated bankruptcy liquidation of LandAmerica Financial Group, a once-massive title insurance company headquartered in Henrico County.

Matson brought the case to a seemingly successful conclusion, recovering billions of dollars for LandAmerica’s many creditors.

Matson closed the case in 2015, leaving only a wind-down budget of around $3 million that was supposed to be held in a trust account through 2021. However, during the course of the LeClairRyan bankruptcy process that account was discovered to have been emptied. Matson eventually admitted that he removed the funds and attempted to justify his actions, before being charged criminally by federal prosecutors. It was ultimately discovered that he stole bankruptcy funds on more than one occasion and he pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. He also surrendered his law license as a result of the scandal.

The winding down of Matson’s time in prison coincides with the winding down of the revived LandAmerica bankruptcy estate. Ben Ackerly, the substitute trustee who took over the case in the wake of Matson’s theft, recently disbursed the estate’s remaining funds to creditors and told the bankruptcy court he intends to close the case out for good.

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Dr. Abe Gomez
Dr. Abe Gomez
11 months ago

This whole episode only proves that white-collar crime pays! What will his net worth be once he’s “paid” all his obligations back? I’m willing to bet it will still be 7 figures.

Michael Morgan-Dodson
Michael Morgan-Dodson
11 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Abe Gomez

Only 7 figures. I am sure if retirement account was left untouched as well as his hidden accounts overseas. I am betting 8 figures since his SSI payments will not be enough to live off in future.

Herny Fordsom
Herny Fordsom
11 months ago

I’m wondering if his Appalachian hike was legit as well. No one will ever know except him.

Jennifer John
Jennifer John
11 months ago
Reply to  Herny Fordsom

Bruce has done many hikes. The App trail was one of them.

Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith
11 months ago

White collar crime pays!

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
11 months ago

What must he do to gain redemption? Once a person pays their debt to society after incarceration – is this not enough? I have no idea how much money he stole, but he has completed his required “pound of flesh”, he is now a felon for life and has an uphill battle finding future employment. For all I know, Matson could be Satan’s son – but as someone important to me said, – “for all have sinned and fallen short.”

Kevin Randesi
Kevin Randesi
11 months ago

Being a convicted felon along with the uphill battle to employment are the consequences to bad choices like Matson made here. He should have thought about this at the time he stole all that money – and maybe that would’ve deterred him from commiting this crime.

Dr. Abe Gomez
Dr. Abe Gomez
11 months ago

Matson won’t have to work a day in his life ever again. He also won’t have to constantly look over his shoulder ever again. I’m sure he’ll file to get his rights back and when he does maybe he can move to Petersburg and run for office. Seems to be the popular thing to do in that area.

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
11 months ago

Small disagreement: I have not weighed his case, but I am not one who things a prison term pays a debt to society but rather runs up the tab. Maybe criminals should be forced to pay restitution to those they harmed (I think Canada does this) and to the taxpayer — incarceration is no longer cheap!!! Maybe the funds can be used to partially offset those who are proven innocent but incur costs from the justice system including incarceration…

Jennifer John
Jennifer John
11 months ago
Reply to  Shawn Harper

Bruce repaid the money he stole to the LandAmerica account.

Dave Towberman
Dave Towberman
11 months ago

The temporary thrill of deceit and theft is nothing compared to the lifelong consequences that follow, damaging reputations, relationships, and livelihoods.
Remember, integrity and honesty are the foundations of a life well-lived. Choose the path of righteousness, for it will lead you towards lasting success and peace of mind. 

Victoria Woodhull
Victoria Woodhull
11 months ago
Reply to  Dave Towberman

Agree.