Date: March 6, 2020
DENVER – Kristen Martin of Denver, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and federal tax evasion. The defendant appeared at the change of plea free on bond. Her bond was continued after the hearing.
According to the filed Information and the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, Martin was an executive assistant with her employer from January 2013 through December 2016. As part of her duties as an executive assistant, Martin was authorized to use a company account at Staples to purchase supplies that were needed by her employer. Due to various changes in assignments within the company, over the years Martin gained access to and utilized 23 different company accounts for purposes of ordering supplies from Staples.
From 2013 through 2016, Martin used the company's accounts at Staples to order unauthorized items which she kept for herself and resold online through ebay and other means. According to the Information, Martin fraudulently ordered, and billed to her company, 4,790 scientific calculators, 250 Ipads/tablet computers, 440 Apple TVs, 178 Kindles, 159 headsets, and 5 cameras, causing the company a loss of $846,441.11. Martin disputes this amount but agrees that she caused a loss of more than $550,000 to her employer through her scheme. Martin resold these fraudulently obtained goods and enriched herself from the sales to the tune of $571,725.61. Further, Martin used the company's Federal Express account to ship the fraudulently purchased items to her buyers, costing her employer an additional loss of $7,896.57.
When senior employees of the company questioned Martin about some of these irregular purchases, she lied and stated that the purchases were made for a company project in a different division of the company.
In addition to both lying to and stealing from the company, Martin also willfully hid this fraudulently earned income from the IRS by filing false federal income tax returns for the years 2013 through 2016, in which she made false statements and failed to report the hundreds of thousands of dollars that she made from her scheme.
As a result of her actions, Martin has agreed to pay restitution in an amount up to $872,337.68 to her employer and in the amount of $161,864 to the IRS. The guilty plea hearing was held before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello.
Martin will be sentenced by Judge Arguello on June 15, 2020. She was first charged by Information on January 14, 2020.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Pegeen D. Rhyne