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Former Internal Revenue Service agent Steven Martinez of Ramona today (April 12) was sentenced to 286 months (almost 24 years) in prison for defrauding clients, then plotting to have four of them killed to keep them from testifying against him. He had pleaded guilty in August to criminal charges including murder-for-hire, witness tampering, mail fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and Social Security fraud. The person whom he solicited to kill the four clients reported the offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and agreed to cooperate. A meeting between Martinez and the cooperating witness was videotaped by the FBI. Martinez admitted to stealing more than $11 million in clients' tax payments.

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Visduh April 12, 2013 @ 8:25 p.m.

And he pled guilty? Putting himself in the federal lockup for nearly a quarter century? You didn't mention his age. If he's old enough, that's tantamount to a life sentence. This doesn't sound like any sort of plea bargain that resulted in a soft sentence, so we would wonder why he folded with no trial. Usually these creeps take it all the way through trial, appeals on end, and then who-knows-what. I'd suspect that he's afraid of some gangsters getting to him if he went all the way through the "system."


Don Bauder April 12, 2013 @ 10:01 p.m.

Visduh: He is 51 years old. I can see him pleading guilty since there was abundant evidence against him, and he could have been put away for life for all the crimes had he gone to trial. Best, Don Bauder


MURPHYJUNK April 13, 2013 @ 7:43 a.m.

He must have learned all the tricks of the trade whilst in the IRS from the exposure to all the other crooks he dealt with.


Don Bauder April 13, 2013 @ 9:31 a.m.

Murphyjunk: The IRS doesn't practice assassinations. That's the CIA's job. Best, Don Bauder


cwebb April 13, 2013 @ 10:35 a.m.

He was our accountant for years... we were part of his window dressing, the clean clients. His lifestyle just got more and more out of sync with what he appeared to be doing. It was laziness and mistaken loyalty that we stayed so long. Knew there was stuff that was not right... He certainly did not get enough from us for private plane and trips all over the world. Very Disappointed in him as a person.
So "glad" he apologized to God. Now an apology to his clients would be good.


Don Bauder April 13, 2013 @ 1:07 p.m.

cwebb: They all apologize to God. You have heard about criminals who find God while in prison: "Born again until out again." Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder April 15, 2013 @ 7:58 p.m.

TAX PREPARER CHARGED WITH IDENTITY THEFT. On tax day (April 15), there is still another report of an allegedly crooked tax preparer. Cynthia Lozana, who ran a tax firm in Lemon Grove, was arrested today and charged with stealing Social Security numbers, filing false tax returns, and defrauding the Internal Revenue Service. Beginning in 2010, she filed fraudulent returns to the government, seeking bogus refunds, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Lozano received more than $1 million from the IRS in fraudulent refunds that she laundered through a maze of bank accounts, according to the government. Best, Don Bauder


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