News 4 calls out questionable charity for veterans, its organizer


by Chris Nagus / News 4

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 12 at 10:44 AM

( -- You work hard for your money, so when someone asks you to donate to a good cause you want to make sure it’s legit.

But News 4 met a guy who’s a little hazy about his identity, his war record, and he’s using unsuspecting women to help him do it.

This guy is working all over town and was less than thrilled when News 4 called his credentials into question.

You would think a war veteran selling raffle tickets to raise money for the troops would be happy to get some publicity, but he was not happy when Chris Nagus showed up.

In fact the response was “it’s none of your f***ing business, it none of anyone’s f***ing business … if my face is on TV I’m going to sue you guys.””

Meet Matt Buckingham, but sometimes he gets a little confused and forgets his name; at least when he’s recruiting women to work for him, that’s when he introduces himself as Tyler Matthews.

Whether it’s Tyler or Matt, his phone number is plastered on a Craigslist ad, asking women to apply to raise money for the troops at bars and restaurants.The ad promises up to $200 a night, so one of our producers responded.

He introduced himself as Tyler and went on to tell our producer about his past.  Buckingham AKA Tyler said “I’m not supposed to get any attention because of my job … right now I work for homeland security … I’ve been to Afghanistan twice … Marines picked me up when I was 17 … I’m officially in the coast guard.”

It was one incredible story after another, too bad none of it's true.

We checked with the U.S. Army, Marines, Homeland Security and the Coast Guard and they have not heard of Matt Buckingham.

But it’s part of his recruiting pitch; it’s not the first time News 4 has dealt with a member of the Buckingham family. 

Last year Chris Nagus confronted Matt’s dad Larry, who was running a lawn service and claiming some of the profits were going to the troops.

He told our producer that they were going to donate 20 percent of their profits to veterans.

There were so many complaints involving the Buckingham's and their yard businesses, mostly centered on Matt, The Better Business Bureau ran out of table space to display them.

And they told us that Larry admitted he was not donating any money to the troops.

In January, Larry registered a new charity for veterans and he’s got Matt out selling raffle tickets to support the troops.

But when Chris Nagus confronted Matt about his claims and charity, he got an angry response.

He told News 4 “if you do this I’m going to sue you … I’m probably going to sue you for putting my name on last time.”

The BBB helps track charity websites here.