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Ex-Employee Sentenced For Embezzling From Brother's Trucking Firm

A former Pennsylvania trucking company employee was sentenced to 18 months to four years in state prison for embezzling more than $238,000 from the firm.

Benzinga · -

A former Pennsylvania trucking company employee was sentenced to 18 months to four years in state prison for embezzling more than $238,000 from the firm.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Dominick Motto also ordered David B. Martin, 74, to pay nearly $136,000 in restitution to Martin Trucking Inc. of Bessemer, Pennsylvania, owned by his brother, William T. Martin Jr., as well as $15,000 to an insurance carrier.

Martin pleaded guilty to four counts of forgery in August. He initially faced nearly 400 charges, including 268 counts of forgery, 124 counts of unauthorized access device fraud and five counts of receiving stolen property.

Lawrence County Assistant District Attorney Deanna Emerich said Martin received a credit of $37,500 for signing over his interest in a feed mill in Bessemer, which he co-owned with his brother, and he signed over his shares of Martin Trucking, amounting to around $9,000. He also returned a Rolex watch he bought for his wife for around $10,917 and gave up his interest in a train station he co-owned with his brother for approximately $5,000, Emerich said.

The embezzlement scheme was discovered in May 2016 when William and Kathy Martin, owners of the trucking firm founded in 1952, started receiving notices from vendors that Martin Trucking was behind on required payments after David Martin was fired a few months earlier.

The owners then reported to the district attorney's office that company funds were missing and there were unauthorized uses of the company's credit card, Emerich told FreightWaves.

Detectives launched a nearly yearlong investigation into the alleged theft by David Martin until his arrest in late June 2017.

Over a five-year period, court documents allege that David Martin tapped the trucking company's bank account to purchase the Rolex for his wife, as well as two vehicles for his son, and airline tickets and trips to casinos. He also paid for health and car insurance, fuel, pharmacy and golf course fees using the company's credit card.

The criminal complaint claims David Martin forged approximately 73 checks from the company's bank accounts totaling approximately $134,000 in 2015 and 2016 and made 124 unauthorized credit card transactions totaling around $6,000 for his personal use.

Court documents alleged that William Martin hired his brother, David, to work as the trucking company's garage manager in 2012 but that his younger brother "started to take on some of the financial tasks such as organizing billing, along with the incoming and outgoing mail."

Eventually, David Martin "did not permit staff to handle any financial issues such as depositing checks, purchasing items or enter deductions in the billing program," according to court filings. 

The 67-year-old trucking company once had 18 power units and 11 drivers, but its operating authority was revoked Sept. 23, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website.

Image by succo from Pixabay