Former LLCC Employee Sentenced for Defrauding College
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) —
A former telecommunications employee of Lincoln Land Community College, John H. Martinez, 48, was sentenced today for defrauding the college of nearly $700,000 over a seven-year period. U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ordered that Martinez serve 29 months (2 years, 5 months) in federal prison and pay restitution in the amount of $695,401 to Lincoln Land Community College and its insurers. Martinez will remain on bond and will report to begin serving his prison sentence as designated by the federal Bureau of Prisons.
On Feb. 3, 2017, Martinez waived indictment and pled guilty to defrauding the college from 2005 to February 2012, and using the fraud proceeds to finance his personal expenses.
As a telecommunications administrator, Martinez worked on the college’s telephone system and was authorized to order products for its communications network. For vendor payments greater than a certain amount, Martinez was required to complete certain forms and documentation to obtain supervisory approval for the expenditure. Martinez admitted he repeatedly forged his supervisors’ signatures to authorize expenditures and caused the college to issue checks to fictitious vendors.
To carry out the scheme, Martinez removed some of the checks to fictitious vendors from the college’s mailroom prior to mailing. For one of the vendors, Martinez caused checks to be mailed to an invalid address, knowing that the checks would be returned and given to him for delivery. Martinez then deposited the fraudulent checks in his personal bank account and used the funds for personal expenses. Two other vendors were owned by Martinez’s friends, with whom Martinez agreed that the friends would deposit the checks in their personal accounts and make cash payments back to him. Martinez allowed the vendors/friends to retain part of the proceeds from the checks in exchange for their assistance in the scheme.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass prosecuted the case. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Illinois State Police, and the Lincoln Land Police Department, with the full cooperation of Lincoln Land Community College, which referred the matter to law enforcement.