Court Docs Reveal Bizarre Details in Yussman Case
More than a month ago, Achieve Financial Credit Union CFO Matthew Yussman claimed that two men invaded his Bristol, Conn. home, strapped a bomb to his chest and forced him to rob his own credit union.
But the home invaders were never found, the bomb turned out to be fake and the credit union’s New Britain branch wasn’t robbed on that morning of Feb. 23.
A police investigation, search warrant documents and CU Times interviews with police investigators reveal Yussman failed a lie detector test and stopped cooperating with police. Documents also show Yussman and his mother, who lives with him, made unusual statements about the two suspects who occupied their home for more than seven hours.
“The results of that [polygraph] test indicated that Yussman showed deception on the relevant test question, ‘Are you lying about your involvement in the home invasion?’” according to search warrant documents filed by New Britain and Bristol police departments in a Connecticut Superior Court.
“From when we first encountered him at the bank, he was cooperative right up through the polygraph test and the post-test interview,” Capt. Thomas Steck, who oversees the investigative division at the New Britain Police Department, said. “During the [polygraph] process he decided he no longer wanted to continue on with the interview.”
Police have not had contact with Yussman since the polygraph test occurred on the night of Feb. 23.
What’s more, Yussman and his mother made bizarre statements, including that the home invaders were well-spoken and polite; brought her cookies, lunch meat and juice; and vacuumed the house before leaving to carry out the robbery. The suspects also initially requested that Yussman steal $4.2 million from the credit union but then settled for $1 million, according to the search warrant documents.
Andrew Klimkoski, president/CEO of the $13 million Achieve Financial Credit Union in Berlin, declined to comment about Yussman’s status. Emails and a phone message left with Yussman seeking comment were not returned.
Capt. Steck said the police department has dedicated considerable resources into this case to move it forward but no arrests are imminent. He indicated police have gathered a lot of evidence, which is currently being analyzed and evaluated.
“I’d love to give you concrete answers,” he said. “I’d love to close this with an arrest right now if I could. Obviously, it is an important case to clear, but you never know where the investigation is going to go. Everything we do is dependent on where the next set of facts or clues leads us.”
Likewise, Lt. Richard Guerrea of the Bristol Police Department said the case is still under investigation and no arrests are expected at this time.
According to search warrants, police confiscated a laptop, routers, telephone handsets, a custom made computer tower in an Antec case, a vacuum cleaner, ginger ale cans, trash bags, duct tape, bolts, washers, keys, a Tupperware container and clothes from Yussman’s house. Police also took DNA swabs from 17 items.
The home invasion began at about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 23 when Yussman’s mother, Valerie, said she heard voices in the garage. When she looked inside the garage, she saw Yussman lying face down with his hands zip tied behind his back. Yussman later told police he believed the two men were waiting for him when he arrived home.
They toted handguns and wore army style jackets, black cargo style pants with ski masks and goggles covering their faces. One of the men pointed a gun at Valerie, ordered her to the ground and then escorted her and Yussman into the home.
“She reported that she never saw their faces, but reported what she called a slight accent that was typical of what you would hear in Connecticut,” police investigators wrote in one of the search warrants. “She also stated that the two men were well-spoken and polite.”
Those well-spoken and polite criminals took Valerie to her room, and one of them stayed with her outside her door. At 3:30 a.m., one of the men came into the room and duct-taped her ankles, took her cell phone and disconnected her landline.
“She reported that one of the men brought her cookies, lunch meat and juice,” according to the search warrant. “She reported the two men and Matthew left the house for perhaps a half hour before returning.”
When they returned, her son came to her door to see if she was OK. Valerie noticed her son’s hands were not zip-tied as they had been when she found him in the garage hours earlier.
For the next couple of hours, Valerie reported she overheard the men asking how much money they could get from the credit union. The suspects also said they were doing this because they owed someone money and if they didn’t pay up, they would be killed, Valerie told police.
Read more: Text messages reveal more details in the alleged scheme...
Yussman also told police one of the suspects used a cell phone to presumably call an associate.
“Yussman explained that he believed this phone call was in relation to the amount of money Yussman could access from the credit union branches,” police investigators wrote. “Yussman stated that the suspects initially requested $4.2 million, to which Yussman responded that the absolute total amount of available monies within both credit union branches would only be $1 million.”
Valerie also said she heard her son repeat back instructions that the suspects had given him. She told police she heard a lot of tape being pulled off a roll and one of the men say they were going to tape something to Matthew’s body.
“Just before they left, one of the men came into her room and told her not to be frightened at the noise, but they were going to vacuum the house,” wrote police investigators. “She reported that she heard him vacuum the living room and then he came in and vacuumed her bedroom.”
At 8:24 a.m., the Bristol Police Department received a 911 call from Klimkoski, who reported he received a call from Yussman who sounded nervous and distressed. Klimkoski told police Yussman had a bomb strapped to his chest and there was another bomb under his mother’s bed.
Yussman instructed Klimkoski to vacate employees from the New Britain branch, close it, meet him there to provide the vault combination, and not to call police.
“This is my life,” Yussman told Klimkoski in a cell phone call. “Please don’t play with it.”
But Klimkoski also told police Yussman seemed to be reading from a script, and wanted the vault codes for the credit union’s Meriden branch, according to the search warrants.
After Klimkoski hung up, he called the branch managers and dialed 911.
At 8:43 a.m., Yussman arrived at the New Britain branch parking lot in his 2013 red Lincoln MKZ. Local and state police, along with the FBI and a bomb squad were also there. Police communicated with Yussman via mobile phones. After police determined the bomb was fake and began removing it, Yussman told police two men invaded his home, planted bombs in it and duct-taped his mother to her bed.
Bristol Police and state troopers swarmed around Yussman’s home and locked down nearby schools. The police determined there were no bombs in the home.
At about 10 a.m., as Yussman spoke to a police officer, he received a text message from the home invaders who were using his mother’s cell phone. The nearly 30 text messages began at 10:01 and ended at 10:42, according to court documents.
The cell phone texts originated from Farmington, which is about eight miles north of the Achieve Financial CU New Britain branch, and about eight miles west of Yussman’s home.
Yussman apparently played along with the suspects to make them believe he stole the money and was on his way to meet them as the following texts reveal:
Suspect: How much do you have
Yussman: Over a million
Suspect: This is good 1m get in the car
Yussman: Just about done
Yussman: Heading to car
Suspect: Head home
Suspect: Go to 160 garden st Farmington
Suspect: Got the location
Suspect: Cemetary center row by flag
Suspect: How long
Yussman: On Berlin tpke
Suspect: How long
Yussman: Slow traffic, not sure maybe 20 minutes
Suspect: Ok see you soon over and out