Former student charged by DOJ for running a multi-million dollar fraud scheme while at UM

Dark figure sits in front of a looming screen, a staged photo taken on Oct. 1, 2023. Photo credit: Emily Rice

A 21-year-old formerly enrolled at the University of Miami has been charged by the Department of Justice with conspiracy to commit computer and mail fraud and substantive mail fraud.

According to a recently unsealed indictment, from December 2021 until April 2022, Matthew Frederic Bergwall gained unauthorized access to compromised employee accounts of an unnamed multinational shipping, receiving and supply chain management company.

If convicted on all counts, Bergwall, also known as ‘MXB,’ faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in federal prison.

“The Dean of Students Office is aware of the allegations,” Dean Steven Priepke said in a statement by DOSO to The Miami Hurricane. “The person is not a currently enrolled student at the University of Miami.”

The indictment includes mentions of co-conspirators but does not name them or disclose how many were involved.

Bergwall and his co-conspirators used the accounts to enter fraudulent tracking information for merchandise transported by the shipping company on behalf of victim retailers located across the nation, according to the indictment.

This allowed the group to get full refunds from the retailers while holding onto the physical items, that included high-end electronics, jewelry, designer clothing and other accessories.

The indictment states that Bergwall received a full refund for a $41,000 Rolex President Day-Date watch, a $600 TeamGee H2O Electric Skateboard and other items while still having them in his possession.

According to the indictment, the group offered this service for sale, which was marketed as FTID (Fraudulent Tracking ID). Bergwall’s FTID fraud scheme submitted around 10,000 fraudulent returns and resulted in at least $3.5 million in lost product and sales revenue to victim retailers.

Bergwall was a junior at UM pursuing a BSBA in computer science and business finance at the Miami Herbert Business School.

According to students at UM that knew Bergwall through friends, some expressed that the charges seem out of character, while others can see them lining up with Bergwall’s luxurious lifestyle choices.

“I’ve seen him around at the library and sometimes at parties too, and just social media in general, but I just did not expect that of him.” said junior neuroscience major Micheal Robinson.

Andrew McClesky, a senior political science major, told TMH that although he only knows Bergwall through friends, seeing him live large did stand out to McCleskey as odd.

“I also do remember at one point he bought himself a Tesla that had some form of matte pink wrap. And I always would just ask myself, “Who’s paying for this?” McClesky said. “I understand that rich people go to this school, but I don’t know how many parents are buying their kids matte wrapped Teslas and sending their kid and his girlfriend to Dubai, Mexico and Spain for like a week at a time. It always just seemed a bit off to me.”

TMH is investigating the case and will continue to provide live updates.

This article was updated on Nov. 12 to reflect information obtained by the Dean of Students Office. A previous version of the article stated that Bergwall was a presently enrolled student at UM.