An arraignment has been scheduled for one of the owners of Fairview Memorial Park after they were re-indicted last week and charged with numerous additional counts of theft.
Arminda K. Martin is scheduled to appear in court at noon on June 28 to be arraigned on 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.
Mrs. Martin and her husband Theodore L. Martin were indicted for a second time on June 16 by a Delaware County grand jury after prosecutors alleged 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.
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. An arraignment for Mr. Martin has not yet been scheduled.
The Martins are currently in federal prison — Theodore Martin in the Federal Corrections Institution in Eklton, Ohio and Arminda Martin at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, 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.
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. Theodore was charged with 51 counts of theft and Arminda was charged with 37 counts of theft.
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 Ohio Revised Code states the prison term for a second degree felony is between two and eight years in prison; the sentence for a third-degree felony is between nine months and three years in prison; the sentence for a fourth-degree felony is between six and 18 months in prison and the prison term for a fifth-degree felony is between six to 12 months in prison.
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 on June 9 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. Strip also reported that Berlin Township Trustee Steve Flaherty has made contact with a landscaping company that has agreed to volunteer their time 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. Strip reported that judge in Portage County appointed a local attorney to act as the receiver for the cemetery in Portage County, Grandview Memorial Park, and Strip reported he and that attorney have been sharing records and other information relevant to their respective cemeteries.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.