HINTON, W.Va. – Bad grammar and spelling tripped up a man who was trying to steal Social Security numbers and other information from jobseekers by impersonating West Virginia's governor, police said.
Matthew Don Reed of Hinton is being held on $10,000 bond on charges of impersonating a public official, impersonating a state Division of Natural Resources officer and forgery of a public document. A call to the 32-year-old's attorney was not immediately returned.
Reed told people he met online that he was a Division of Natural Resources officer and persuaded them to submit job applications with copies of their birth certificates and other information, State Police Sgt. T.L. Bragg told The Register-Herald.
Then he hired a Chicago man to send letters to people interested in jobs. That man got suspicious and called state officials after Reed gave him a letter purportedly from Gov. Joe Manchin to send to an applicant.
It lacked the governor's seal and was riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors.
"It's nice to have you as an employee of West Virginia," the letter said. "Your super (boss) Matt talk a lot of thangs about you. I hope you stay with us a long time. If you got ? please ask Matt."
Investigators are also looking into whether Reed solicited applications for fake state police jobs. Police are still investigating whether he used any personal information from applicants.