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Local cemetery owners indicted for mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud

ThinkstockPhotos: Cemetery

HARRISBURG — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Theodore Martin, age 54, and his wife, Arminda Martin, age 47, formerly of York County, Pennsylvania, were indicted by a federal grand jury for mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

According to U.S. Attorney David J. Freed, between 2003 and 2016, the Martins owned and operated Suburban Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Dover, Pennsylvania. As owners and operators of the cemetery business, the Martins sold burial services, including burial plots, vaults, caskets, and grave markers. The indictment alleges that from 2010 to on or about 2016, the Martins defrauded at least 200 of their customers of Suburban Memorial Gardens Cemetery out of approximately $500,000. Instead of applying the customers’ monies to the prepaid cemetery services and products contracted for, the Martins embezzled the money for their own personal gain including for gambling.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, and is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph J. Terz.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is 20 years’ of imprisonment on each count, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania