Peoria Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft of $106,000 of Dead Man’s Federal Retirement Benefits

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – A Peoria, Ariz. woman pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to Theft of Public Money. Mary Rose Martinez, 48, was indicted by a federal grand jury in August, 2008. As part of her guilty plea, Martinez admitted to U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence O. Anderson that from 2001 to 2006 she stole $106,524 in federal retirement benefits which were paid to a friend who had died in 2001.

In addition, Martinez acknowledged that before the federal retiree’s death, he had granted her a power-of-attorney over his checking account and that his retirement benefits were electronically deposited into that account. After the retiree died in February 2001, his retirement benefits continued to be deposited into his checking account and Martinez took the money and spent it.

Theft of Public Money is punishable by a maximum term of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Sentencing has been set before U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake on May 18, 2009.

The investigation was conducted by U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. The prosecution is being handled by Frank T. Galati, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-080(Martinez)

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