Popular South Beach chef stole almost 200K from restaurant, police say

By: Andy Slater

A popular South Beach chef was arrested for cooking the books. Bernie Matz allegedly manipulated a restaurant's bank account.

Police went to Bodega Taqueira y Tequila in Miami Beach on Wednesday afternoon and handcuffed Matz. He is the restaurant's executive chef and also executive director of culinary for Menin Hospitality. The company runs many popular Miami Beach eateries. 

Matz, 55, is accused of stealing $184,993 when he was the chef and GM at Books & Books on Lincoln Road, the exclusively-obtained arrest affidavit says. 

In 2010, while working for Books & Books, Matz opened his own restaurant, Bernie's L.A. Cafe. He started to move food orders that belonged to Books & Books, to his restaurant, the report says. Police say this went on until July 2014. 

Matz catered events to New World Symphony. He allegedly didn't give any of a $31,000 payment to Books & Books, who owned the account, according to the affidavit. 

Matz was charged with first-degree grand theft and organized fraud. He bonded out of jail Thursday morning. 

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(Photo: Facebook, Miami-Dade Corrections)