In 2006, Mattes received national attention when attacked on-camera by the king pin of a $30 million dollar real estate and mortgage fraud scheme, known as the Suleiman attack.
The Suleiman attack On September 6, 2006 received national attention. In the attack, Mattes was injured with cracked ribs, bite wounds and cuts to his face. The attacking scene was caught on tape by his cameraman Dennis Waldrop. He was later interviewed by Bill O’Reilly on his show, The O’Reilly Factor. While Mattes recovered, the couple that attacked him, Sam Suleiman and Rosa Barraza, faced multiple charges.
One week after the attack, Mattes returned to XETV to do an investigative report on mortgage fraud. Suleiman went on cable television and claimed he was the victim. On September 12, the couple pled not guilty in a San Diego courtroom. Suleiman faced ten years and eight months for battery causing great bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, making a criminal threat and intimidating a witness. Suleiman got a plea bargain and served less than one year in jail. His wife got probation.
They have never been charged in the massive mortgage fraud scheme Mattes uncovered. All the properties Mattes revealed as linked to Suleiman have been foreclosed and not a dime ever recovered from the losses. Today Suleiman works as a “mortgage modification expert”.