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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Wisconsin

For Immediate Release

October 9, 2012

John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney

Contact: Robert A. Anderson
(608) 264-5158

Owner of Fat Boys Pizza Sentenced for Arson

Madison, Wis. – John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Thomas L. Matje, 46, of Deforest, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to five years in federal prison for arson. Matje pleaded guilty to this charge on August 2, 2012.

Matje was also ordered to pay $159,818 in restitution to the insurance company of the building owner, as well as two tenants of the building who were displaced by the fire.

On December 27, 2011, Matje started a fire that destroyed Fat Boys Pizza in Lodi, Wis. At the plea hearing, he told Judge Crabb that he used lighter fluid to cause a fire that spread from an electrical outlet in the kitchen of the restaurant. Matje explained that the pizza business he operated was unsuccessful and he wanted to try and "get rid of it" through the arson.

The charge against Matje was the result of an investigation conducted by the Lodi Police Department; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, State Fire Marshal; and ATF. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.