South End man sues over arrest in One Fund fraud

Branden Mattier stood in a Boston courtroom with his attorney Claudia Perez Tomao during his arraignment in July.
Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
Branden Mattier stood in a Boston courtroom with his attorney Claudia Perez Tomao during his arraignment in July.

A South End man accused of trying to steal more than $2 million from the charity for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings is suing State Police and FedEx in connection with the investigation.

Branden E. Mattier, 23, filed his civil suit last week in federal court in Boston.

He says the defendants violated his constitutional rights when he was arrested in July after allegedly signing for a bogus $2.2 million check from One Fund Boston.


A state trooper posing as a FedEx employee delivered the check to his address.

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“One Fund Boston never authorized the issuance of said check, nor agreed to a check being doctored to resemble that of a One Fund Boston check,” Mattier, who is representing himself in the lawsuit, wrote in the complaint.

Prosecutors say Mattier and his brother, Domunique Grice, 28, conspired to defraud the charity by filing a claim on behalf of an aunt who they said was injured in the blasts.

Authorities say the woman died 10 years before the April 15 explosions, which killed three people and injured more than 260.

Mattier and his brother planned to test-drive a Mercedes Benz on the day the check was scheduled to arrive, authorities said.


A spokesman for Attorney General Martha Coakley, whose office is prosecuting the men, declined to comment on Mattier’s lawsuit, citing the pending criminal case.

The brothers have pleaded not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges and are free pending trial. They are due back in court next week for a pretrial hearing. Neither man could be reached Monday, and Mattier’s public defender, John C. Hayes, declined to comment on his client’s lawsuit.

FedEx had no comment Monday night, but David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, disputed Mattier’s allegations. “The facts of the investigation and subsequent arrest, if not simple logic, will make clear that no civil rights violations occurred,” Procopio said.

Mattier is seeking at least $400,000 in damages. He said in court papers that he has never worked and has no cash, checking, or savings accounts.

Among other requests, Mattier seeks a finding that the undercover trooper and FedEx conspired “to deny the plaintiff his constitutional right to be free from [an] unreasonable seizure when he was arrested,” he wrote in the complaint.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.