Dema Martinez, who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Lakewood, is facing a 24-count federal indictment for wire and bank fraud.
DENVER – From iPhones, to plane tickets and even an Audi S4, federal court records say a federal employee at the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office in Lakewood, Colorado went on a multi-year shopping spree using government-issued credit cards.
“As part of the scheme, Martinez used government-issued credit cards issued to her and other BIA employees to defraud the government of approximately $ 800,000 over an approximately seven year-period,” an indictment says.
Martinez, 40, was indicted in November 2021, according to court records from the US District Court in Colorado.
She was expected to plead guilty in the case this month, but a change of plea hearing has been pushed back to October.
Federal investigators accuse Martinez of submitting “fictitious receipts, invoices and other documentation to BIA in support of the unauthorized purchases” over the course of the seven-year scheme.
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“At times, Martinez’s communications contained false descriptions and explanations to co-workers, including her supervisors, as to the nature and legitimacy of purchases…,” the indictment reads.
The indictment also accuses Martinez of using an unnamed relative’s bank account to conduct some of the credit card cash transactions through PayPal and Square.
The total amount Martinez is accused of embezzling is $ 811,398.
The indictment also lists some of the items she’s accused of purchasing:
- Airline tickets
- Apple iPhones and watches
- Audi S4
- Beats by Dre headphones
- Health supplements
- Home laser therapy
- King Soopers purchases
- Pet food
- Sony PlayStation controllers
- Uber rides
- Veterinarian services
- Wrestling singlets
- Xcel Energy bills
According to court records, Martinez could face up to 30 years in prison.
Multiple attempts were made to reach Martinez for comment, but she has not responded to phone calls and text messages.
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