FROM:
Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Dale B. Lohman, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2599    For release on May 5, 2005   GILROY WOMAN ARRESTED IN $1.6 MILLION EMBEZZLEMENT AND IDENTITY THEFT CASE   Michelle Marie Martinez, 29, of Gilroy was arrested today following an investigation by the San Jose Police Department Fraud Unit. In a criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney, Michelle Martinez is charged with 6 felony counts including five counts of grand theft and one count of identity theft. Her bail is currently set at $2,000,000.   The complaint alleges that over a four-year period, Martinez systematically embezzled over $1,600,000 from her employer’s personal accounts by using the name and social security number of her employer’s wife to obtain unauthorized access to their American Express account.  Martinez’s job duties included reconciliation of her employer’s personal and corporate financial accounts.  When Martinez left, the victim resumed oversight of his accounts and discovered that Martinez had been concealing her unauthorized use of his checking and credit accounts.   According to investigative reports filed with the court, Martinez used some of the money to purchase a home in Gilroy, a Hummer, a BMW sedan, and round-trip airline tickets to the Bahamas for 12 family members.   If convicted, Michelle Martinez could face over thirteen years in state prison.    # # #

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