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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 1, 2019

Controller Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Tax Charge

PROVIDENCE – A controller employed by a Providence based high-technology company that specializes in the optimization of electro-magnetic and automated process equipment pleaded guilty today in federal court to charges that she executed a scheme to defraud the company of more than $550,000 in reimbursements for business related expenses she was not entitled to, and that she failed to pay taxes to the IRS for the funds she fraudulently received.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Jill Martinho, 43, of Swansea, Mass., pleaded guilty to wire fraud and willfully making a false tax return, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Kristina O'Connell, and Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service Stephen Marks.

According to information presented to the Court, from May 2015 through February 2018, Martinho was authorized to purchase supplies necessary for her company with the use of personal credit cards. Although Martinho was entitled to reimbursements from the company totaling approximately $459,224, based on her fraudulent claims, including the use of fraudulently created card statements, she received approximately $1,017,295 from the company, causing the company a loss of approximately $557,974.

Additionally, Martinho did not report the fraudulently obtained income to the IRS nor did she pay taxes due the IRS.

Martinho had been employed by the company since 2005.

Martinho is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on July 19, 2019. Wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment; a fine of $250,000 or twice the pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater; and a term of supervised release of 5 years. Willfully making a false tax return is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 3 years imprisonment; a fine of $100,000; and a term of supervised release of 3 years.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter was investigated by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the United States Secret Service.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
19-31
Updated April 1, 2019