Tallahassee Firefighter Charged With 17 Counts Of Fraud

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Updated By: Andy Alcock
May 19, 2014

A Tallahassee Firefighter has been accused of 17 counts of fraud.

The acting chief tells us there's also an ongoing internal investigation.

A home on Bradfordville Road in North Leon County is at the center of controversy.

According to court records, Tallahassee Fire Department Lieutenant Matt Schlossman claimed he taught 17 separate classes for firefighters over two years.

But the property owner TFD Lieutenant Stephen Watson told investigators not a single class was ever held here.

"Obviously, it's not something that we condone. Integrity is a very important part of our job," said John Gatlin, acting TFD Chief.

Court records indicate 42 different firefighters took the courses Schlossman offered.

Everyone of them told investigators no actual class ever took place.

Additionally some of those firefighters told investigators Schlossman sent them quizzes, tests and the answers.

Investigators determined Schlossman made 197 fraudulent grade entries and found almost all the grades were 100 percent, even though some students never even received class materials.

TFD Acting Chief John Gatlin says some of the courses were advanced fire college classes while others were part of job specific requirements.

"If those classes were taken and found to be invalid, then we won't be able to use that for any of those purposes," said Gatlin.

While Gatlin says not all of the 42 firefighters who took the classes are from TFD, he says the ones who are are part of an ongoing internal review.

"And what it necessitates to hold those employees accountable," said Gatlin.

Schlossman has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of TFD's investigation.

Schlossman's attorney Tim Jansen tells us his client is cooperating with that investigation.

Jansen also says he's waiting for supporting documents for the 17 felony charges against Schlossman.

By: Eyewitness News
May 19, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - A Lieutenant with the Tallahassee Fire Department is behind bars in connection with a fraud scheme.

Police say Matthew Schlossman was arrested Friday after allegedly taking payments from fellow firefighters in exchange for them not taking certification classes.

Investigators say Schlossman was an instructor for the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training. Tallahassee Police say Schlossman collected money from the firefighters, in varying amounts, and enrolled them in the classes.

Between July 2011 and June 2013, investigators say Schlossman lied about teaching seventeen courses at Lieutenant Stephen Watson's property on Bradfordville Road. Investigators say Watson admitted those classes never took place.

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