Earlier this week, our news outlet reported that agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)’s special investigations unit had ramped up their inquiries into “a host of allegations centered around an upscale, exclusive neighborhood in the suburbs of Greenville, South Carolina.”
This, regular readers are well aware, is the spate of scandals we have referred to collectively as the Thornblade saga …
In our report, we noted that Greenville, S.C. insurance marketing executive Rick Mathews had recently been the subject of a “lengthy interview” with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to its website, HSI participates “in more than 120 human trafficking task forces nationwide, alongside other federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement.”
According to our sources, HSI agents grilled Mathews extensively last Tuesday (August 25, 2020) over his recent divorce from Jennifer Mathews – who runs a yoga and pilates studio in Greenville.
“Jennifer Mathews’ husband was interviewed for three hours,” a source familiar with the inquiry told us.
Well, go ahead and chalk another one up for our network of sources …
On Thursday afternoon, the law office of Bannister, Wyatt and Stalvey issued a statement from Rick Mathews confirming that he had indeed been questioned by law enforcement – and was cooperating with them in their inquiries.
Mathews’ statement shed additional light on some of the allegations at the center of the Thornblade saga, which has gripped Greenville audiences ever since we exclusively reported on it back in late July.
“I found out in late June of this year that my wife, Jennifer Mathews, had engaged in multiple extramarital activities,” Mathews said in the statement. “Upon learning of this fact, we separated and I filed for divorce in July.”
Hmmm … multiple extramarital activities?
“I am aware that there is an investigation being conducted,” Mathews’ statement continued. “While I am not a suspect in any illegal activity, I am cooperating fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so.”
The Mathews’ divorce is the “family court matter” this news outlet referenced several weeks ago – a case which was said to “figure prominently” in the ongoing investigation. According to our sources, that case was settled late last month – although we have yet to be provided with any of its pleadings.
Mathews’ assertion that he is not a target of any criminal inquiries related to these scandals is consistent with information we have been provided by our network of sources.
Which means speculation now centers around Jennifer Mathews … and those alleged “multiple extramarital activities.”
As we reported earlier this week, details of the Mathews’ divorce case – which have yet to be made public – could have some bearing on the various Thornblade-related narratives making the rounds across the Upstate.
How, though? That is the question we are seeking to answer …
According to our sources, HSI investigators questioned Rick Mathews about his knowledge of certain “video recordings” involving Jennifer Mathews that were previously furnished to investigators.
What else did they want to know? Good question …
We reached out to both Rick and Jennifer Mathews (below) – and their attorneys – earlier this week. We did not receive responses to our inquiries, however – at least not until the Rick Mathews statement was posted online Thursday afternoon.
In the event we receive responses (including statements from attorneys), we will be sure to pass those along to our readers. And remember, our news outlet has an open microphone policy …
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From the beginning of this saga, we have been focused on three distinct Thornblade-related scandals: 1) Allegations of embezzlement involving the neighborhood golf club, 2) allegations of a “prostitution ring” (or “sex ring”) involving several Thornblade residents, and 3) allegations involving an “athletics team at a government-run high school in nearby Taylors, S.C.” which are said to be somehow connected to the prostitution/ sex ring accusations.
There are also blackmail allegations linked to the rumored prostitution/ sex ring.
How did all of this start? As we exclusively reported on July 27, 2020, allegations of serious financial irregularities at the prestigious Thornblade Club prompted an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) – which as we noted at the time has broad jurisdictional authority when it comes to “cyber-enabled financial crimes.”
The club is located about five miles east of Greenville, S.C. within the Thornblade subdivision and is well-known in the area for hosting an annual charity tournament sponsored by BMW.
These financial allegations have since received mainstream media coverage courtesy of The Greenville News.
But there are other allegations …
According to our sources, federal investigators are probing the alleged activities of a group of men who apparently refer to themselves as “The Disciples” – although we have been cautioned that the ongoing investigation is not limited to this group.
For example, we reported earlier this week that HSI agents have been asking questions about Brian Gem Garrison – a former adjunct tennis coach at Eastside High School in Taylors, S.C. who was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor last spring.
Those charges are still pending …
We also reported that investigators were “looking to interview several current and former students at Eastside High School – as well as several current and former employees of the Thornblade Club.”
As we have said all along, we will continue doing our best to get to the bottom of what transpired in relation to this saga – particularly the status of the two pending federal inquiries.
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