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The owner of the embattled Grandview Memorial Park cemetery in Ravenna Township is back in a central Ohio jail, after allegedly using the proceeds of sales at a second cemetery he owns in Delaware County to bond himself out of jail on felony theft and racketeering charges.
Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger on Wednesday revoked the bond posted by Theodore “Ted” Martin, 53, according to the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, after it was alleged he posted $3,000 bond using a forged check on a bank account belonging to Fairview Memorial Park cemetery in Lewis Center. Krueger set a new bond in Martin’s case — $100,000 cash, said Julie Datko, a spokeswoman for Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien. Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Mark Sleeper alleged in court filings that the bond money came from the $5,900 sale of burial merchandise to a Delaware County woman. The check was drawn out of an account at a Kent bank, withdrawn and issued to Martin’s mother-in-law and his office manager, Sleeper wrote in his motion asking the court to revoke the defendant’s bond.
Sleeper told the court the check used to pay Ted Martin’s bond was “signed” by his wife, Arminda “Myndi” Martin — an impossible feat as she currently is is serving a one-year sentence in a West Virginia federal prison after pleading guilty in October to tax evasion for failing to pay more than $120,000 in federal taxes in 2011.
In a court filing, Delaware County sheriff’s Det. Christina Burke wrote that a review of Martin’s recorded jailhouse phone calls showed that on March 16, Martin placed a phone call to his office manager, Julia Sporck, and his mother-in-law, Judy Bochenek, asking if “you have Myndi’s hand stamper with you.”
When Bochenek said she did, Ted Martin allegedly replied “That’s good thinking mom, that’s thinking ahead.” He then allegedly told Bochenek to make a check out to Sporck for $3,000 on the Fairview Memorial Park account, “stamp it with Myndi’s signature on it,” go into the Kent bank and get money for his bond. “Let’s see if this flies,” Ted Martin allegedly told the women.
Ted Martin faces one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity — also commonly called racketeering — which is a second-degree felony, and 51 counts of theft, including 27 fourth-degree felonies, 21 fifth-degree felonies and three first-degree misdemeanors, in Delaware County. A trial is set to begin there on May 30.
Myndi Martin has yet to be arraigned on the 34 felony and misdemeanor theft charges she also faces in Delaware County. Ted Martin pleaded guilty to an identical tax evasion charge as his wife, but his sentence was deferred by a U.S. District Court judge in the Middle District of Pennsylvania until she completes her prison term.
Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said Wednesday that his office continues to pursue criminal charges related to the Martins' alleged failure to comply with Ohio cemetery law, including allegedly failing to make annual filings, keep accurate business records and maintain the cemetery's trust account. Delaware County prosecutors are handling the multiple theft charges referring to crimes affecting as many as 44 victims. “Preying on the elderly and emotionally distraught is cruel,” the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office wrote March 7 on its Facebook page after the Martins’ criminal charges were announced. The Martins “have scammed dozens, if not hundreds, of innocent victims who paid for burial plots, vaults, and headstones for loved ones.”
The Ohio Attorney General's Office also has sued the Martins for alleged violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act for failing to provide more than $36,000 in merchandise to at least 26 customers.