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Steven Martinez of Ramona, a tax preparer and former agent with the Internal Revenue Service, pleaded guilty today (Aug. 10) in federal court to charges of murder-for-hire, witness tampering that involved attempted murder, mail fraud, filing false tax returns, Social Security fraud, identity theft and money laundering. According to the U.S. Attorney's office, in February Martinez solicited an individual to bump off four former clients, victims of his fraud, who were slated to testify against him in a criminal tax case. The individual went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and reported the murder-for-hire solicitation. Then a meeting between Martinez and the individual was recorded and videotaped. Martinez offered $100,000 if the individual knocked off women of Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Martinez even suggested how the murders should be pulled off -- with two different pistols with silencers. Martinez admitted that he filed false tax returns and defrauded his clients by stealing more than $11 million in tax payments. A sentencing hearing will be before U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes Nov. 30.

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Visduh Aug. 10, 2012 @ 8:08 p.m.

Wow. This should be front-page news in both U-T (oops, Manchester Mill) and the NCT rag. Wanna bet they won't show up tomorrow (Saturday, 8/11) and might not even be reported on Sunday, or at all? Sheesh, eleven million dollars? This dude didn't play for small change.

So, he ought to be up for a life sentence. This was attempted multiple murder for financial gain. Let's see what the feds give him.


Don Bauder Aug. 10, 2012 @ 8:36 p.m.

In total, he could get 98 years in prison for all the charges. That's the maximum. Best, Don Bauder


Burwell Aug. 10, 2012 @ 9:05 p.m.

Martinez was insane to think that he could get away with murdering the witnesses. He should have simply plead guilty. He would have probably received no more than 5 years at a country club prison. Now, he'll probably wind up in prison for life, and it won't be a country club prison. When you commit crimes like this you have to stash a lot of dough offshore and have an exit plan like Wally Wencke and Clifford Graham did. You can't stay in the U.S. and face the music.


Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2012 @ 8:16 a.m.

Yes, that was the first thing that occurred to me. Why bump off two of the witnesses lined up to testify against you? You would be fingered immediately. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 10, 2012 @ 9:51 p.m.

A monster like Peyer is in a CC prison--better yet he should have been thrown off a bridge like his victim. He should be earning his keep and paying restitution. So should other criminals. Any ideas about how? Maybe a treadmill in alternating six-hour shifts to generate electricity? Other ideas?


SurfPuppy619 Aug. 10, 2012 @ 11:49 p.m.

Peyer will die in the Joint, as he should. I will always think of the horrific crime against Cara Knott and hardship Sam Knott had to endure until his end..........


Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2012 @ 8:20 a.m.

Agreed. Peyer deserves to die in prison. Ditto Gardner. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2012 @ 8:18 a.m.

Hey. That's a great idea. Prisoners could generate electricity on a treadmill all day. Best, Don Bauder


Twister Aug. 14, 2012 @ 2:11 p.m.

We will all soon be building pyramids for the "Great Civilizations" now envisioned by the 1 percent. Maybe I should have kept my thought to myself. Maybe the Reader should delete it.


Don Bauder Aug. 14, 2012 @ 9:37 p.m.

Some of the pyramids built by the upper 1% don't make it -- to wit Madoff, Enron, etc. Best, Don Bauder


Fulano de Tal Aug. 11, 2012 @ 1:10 p.m.

Did anybody notice he was a former Internal Revenue Service agent? Just saying...


Don Bauder Aug. 11, 2012 @ 1:16 p.m.

I noticed that he was a former IRS agent. That's why I put it in there prominently. Best, Don Bauder


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