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Conman sentenced to 6 years for bank fraud

Martin

Looking tired and weak, Douglas Martin took the microphone and gave his name and age to the court Thursday morning.

And before he was sentenced, through his attorney he asked Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull to make sure he received necessary medical treatment in the Department of Correction.

But as she looked over his statements to investigators for the pre-sentence report, Gull noted that just a few weeks ago, Martin said he was in fair health.

Allen County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Michael McAlexander said if the state gives Martin any treatment, then the state must do its own assessment of his condition since his claims of grave illness have earlier proven to be false.

Gull sentenced Martin to six years in prison for the latest in a series of cons and frauds stretching back more than a decade.

In this case, the 63-year-old man pleaded guilty to fraud on a financial institution – admitting to opening a bank account at First Federal Savings Bank on Christmas Eve 2010, using a check written out to “Douglas Martin, MD.”

That check was drawn on an account at Higher One bank, according to court documents.

A few days later, Martin presented additional checks for deposit and withdrew cash. All the checks were from the same account and written in the same hand.

The checks were all returned to First Federal Bank, marked “Insufficient Funds,” according to court documents.

After the charges were filed, though, Martin fled the area, turning up later in South Carolina. When law enforcement there picked him up and found the outstanding warrant from Allen County, Martin said he suffered from a serious heart condition, and Allen County prosecutors declined to extradite him.

Charleston County, S.C., officials released him before Allen County officials realized it was likely a con and reinstituted the warrant.

It was not the former New Mexico resident’s first trouble with the law. Martin has twice been indicted in federal court for a variety of frauds. In one case, he was accused of opening bank accounts at a local credit union just days after he was sentenced on his previous felonies, depositing more than $5,000 in checks from a Capital One account that were later returned because of insufficient funds.

Before the bank received those checks back, Martin had already written out enough checks on the account to run up a negative balance of $6,000, according to court documents.

In his other case, he created a wildly impressive résumé in an apparent effort to con women he met online. The résumé included claims he was a decorated military veteran, multidisciplinary surgeon and a graduate of the University of London.

Within weeks of meeting a Fort Wayne woman through a dating website, he asked her to marry him. When she told him she couldn’t leave Fort Wayne, he told her he would get a job in northeast Indiana.

He went so far as to obtain an interview at the local VA Medical Center. Doctors at the VA became suspicious, as did the woman, who turned down his plea for her bank account number.

In December 2007, Martin was arrested at Fort Wayne International Airport, arriving for what he believed was a second job interview. He pleaded guilty in that case.

He also has prior fraud convictions in New Mexico, and was released from supervised probation months before he showed up in Fort Wayne, according to New Mexico court records.

Martin said he was truly remorseful, and accepted responsibility for his actions.

Gull noted Martin’s lengthy history in sentencing Martin. She ordered him to serve six years in prison and pay $574 in restitution to the bank.

Four additional charges of theft were dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

rgreen@jg.net

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