Pizza restaurant owner sentenced for arson

DeForest man sentenced to 5 years in federal prison

Published On: Oct 09 2012 09:48:03 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 09 2012 10:18:34 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

A DeForest man who set fire to his pizza restaurant has been sentenced to prison.

Thomas L. Matje, 46, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to five years in federal prison for arson.

Matje pleaded guilty to this charge on Aug. 2.

Matje was also ordered to pay $159,818 in restitution to the insurance company of the building owner, as well as two tenants of the building who were displaced by the fire.

On Dec. 27, 2011, Matje started a fire that destroyed Fat Boys Pizza in Lodi.

At the plea hearing, he told Judge Crabb that he used lighter fluid to cause a fire that spread from an electrical outlet in the kitchen of the restaurant.

Matje explained that the pizza business he operated was unsuccessful and he wanted to try and "get rid of it" through the arson.