Fort Lauderdale, Florida – A 45-year-old Fort Lauderdale man, Matthew Leon Chilcutt, received a three-year prison sentence last week on February 8 and was also ordered to pay $71,933.20 in restitution for causing extensive damage to the U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Fort Lauderdale. This sentence came after Chilcutt admitted guilt to a charge of destroying federal property in November 2023, acknowledging his actions that violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 1361.
The incident took place on September 5, 2022, when Chilcutt broke into the courthouse during the Labor Day holiday, a time when the building was not open to the public. His destructive spree included breaking glass, demolishing both interior and exterior doors, and inflicting significant water damage, among other vandalisms. The courthouse’s surveillance system captured his actions on video, providing clear evidence of his crimes.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida and the Federal Protective Service (FPS), Miami Region, jointly announced Chilcutt’s sentencing. U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore determined the sentence. The FPS led the investigation into Chilcutt’s actions, with support from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Snider took charge of the prosecution, ensuring that justice was served for the federal property’s destruction.