Former Jackson County judicial commissioner charged in 48-count indictment

NASHVILLE – A 48-count indictment handed down last week charged Patrick Martin, 48, of Gainesboro, with two counts of federal program theft, 30 counts of wire fraud, one count of possession of a forged security of an organization, 12 counts of failure to collect or pay employment taxes, two counts of filing false tax returns, and one count of destruction of records in a federal investigation.  Jeff Hynes, 51, of Gainesboro was also charged in the destruction of records count.

Martin and Hynes were arrested on Friday by federal agents and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alistair Newbern.  Hynes was held in custody pending further proceedings and Martin was released with conditions, pending trial.

According to the indictment, Martin allegedly embezzled funds belonging to the Community Prevention Coalition of Jackson County, an organization that had the stated mission of preventing and reducing underage alcohol abuse and illegal substance abuse among youth in Jackson County.  Martin served as Executive Director of the Coalition while also serving as a Judicial Commissioner in Jackson County.  Martin’s scheme resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totaling $375,000.

The indictment alleges that Martin embezzled funds the Coalition received from federal, state, and local sources by causing Coalition checks to be issued to him, which he used to pay personal expenses, including his electric bill, furniture and fixtures for his home and for the purchase of a Ford Mustang for another individual, among others.  The indictment also alleges that Martin reimbursed himself for more than the amount of certain expenses, including on three occasions where he reimbursed himself more than $3,000 for the same expense. Then, in the midst of an audit by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Martin and Hynes intentionally destroyed a large number of the Coalition’s records, including invoices and other financial records, by setting them on fire.

The indictment also alleges that Martin withheld quarterly taxes from Coalition employees’ wages, but never submitted the funds to the IRS as required, causing a tax loss of more than $82,000. 

Finally, the indictment alleges that Martin under reported his income when he filed tax returns for 2014 and 2015.

If convicted, Martin faces up to 10 years on each count of federal program theft, 20 years on each count of wire fraud, 10 years for possession of a forged security, five years on each count of failure to collect or pay employment tax, and three years on each count of filing false tax returns. Martin and Hynes each face up to 20 years on the count for destruction of records in a federal investigation.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the IRS – Criminal Investigation; and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.  Assistant United States Attorney Robert Levine is prosecuting the case.

The charges are merely an accusation.  The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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