The owners of Fairview Memorial Park were re-indicted Friday by a Delaware County grand jury and charged with numerous additional counts of theft.
The grand jury returned a second indictment against Theodore L. Martin and Arminda K. Martin alleging that the Martins took money from Delaware County residents for headstones and other items as well as services such as burials, but never delivered any of the goods or services.
The Martins were initially indicted on Feb. 24 and each charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and a number of theft charges. In February, Theodore was charged with 51 counts of theft and Arminda was charged with 37 counts of theft.
On Friday, the Martins were indicted again and now Theodore Martin faces one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony, and 77 counts of theft, ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies.
Arminda Martin now faces one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second-degree felony, and 57 counts of theft, ranging from first-degree misdemeanors to third-degree felonies.
Prosecutors reported that the original charges included 44 victims and said the new charges cover 23 additional victims, bringing the total number to 67.
The Martins pleaded not guilty to the previous charges, but the arraignments on the new charges have not yet been scheduled.
As of Friday, the Martins remained in federal prison — Theodore Martin in Ohio and Arminda Martin in West Virginia — after they were each sentenced to serve one year in prison for an unrelated tax evasion case. The sentencing judge allowed Theodore Martin to remain out of prison to run the cemetery, but when federal authorities discovered that he posted bond using money gained from the sale of items at the cemetery, he was ordered to begin serving his sentence immediately.
Additionally, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley has appointed Columbus attorney A.C. Strip, Esq., to serve as the receiver for the cemetery. Strip is responsible for reviewing the cemetery’s finances and maintaining the cemetery.
Strip filed a report last week and stated that he and his team are currently reviewing the cemetery’s records and inventory, but reported there was no cash on hand to maintain the cemetery.
Prosecutors reported that the Martins have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars from the cemetery’s bank account at a casino in Pennsylvania.
The Martins are also facing civil litigation and criminal charges in Portage County, where they are accused of similar conduct at a cemetery they own in Ravenna, Ohio.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.
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