Meridian construction executive sent to jail

Elaine Martin is trying to sell her house and other valuables to pay attorney fees.

jsowell@idahostatesman.comNovember 2, 2013 

Elaine Martin

COURTESY PHOTO

Elaine Martin, awaiting sentencing on fraud charges, was picked up this week on a warrant accusing her of violating her release agreement.

Martin appeared Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boise on a charge of violation of supervision, a day after she was taken into custody. A further hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday before Magistrate Ronald Bush.

Martin was initially held in custody after her Sept. 19 conviction on 22 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill allowed her to be released a week later after she agreed to turn in her passport and disclose all properties in which she has a financial interest, along with those held by Meridian guardrail installer MarCon Inc. and affiliated company MC Group.

She was required to disclose professional or personal connections to any other companies. Martin also agreed to refrain from becoming an employee, director, trustee or paid consultant for any companies besides those she is already connected with.

Court documents reveal that Martin is trying to sell jewelry, a motorcycle and her home on North Hickory Way in Meridian to pay attorney fees and costs. In August, she signed a promisory note that provides her with up to $400,000 from son Tory Martin.

Both Elaine Martin and co-defendant Darrell Swigert, a MarCon investor and one-time live-in boyfriend of Martin, have asked to delay their scheduled Dec. 9 sentencings to late January. Swigert, owner of the Idaho Junior Steelheads hockey team and head of a charitable foundation, was convicted of obstruction of justice in helping Martin cover up her crimes. He remains out of custody.

Swigert hired a Los Angeles firm to represent him in his post-conviction appeals. Attorney Raymond Aghaian asked for time to review transcripts from the trial, which he said would not be available until around Thanksgiving.

Prosecutors objected to the delay. They noted that trial attorney C. Tom Arkoosh, who represented Swigert, was still part of the legal team. And, they said, Martin's request for more time did not give a reason.

Martin is also challenging a forfeiture order that seeks $9.2 million that the government claims Martin obtained fraudulently. The government said she understated company and personal assets to qualify for millions of dollars worth of highway construction projects that should have gone to small, disadvantaged companies. The assets she reported allowed her to obtain contracts through Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation programs.

Martin's attorney, Paul Westberg, argued the government has not shown where it came up with the $9.2 million figure. He said more evidence should be provided before Winmill signs the forfeiture order.

John Sowell: 377-6423, Twitter: @IDS_Sowell

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