MarCon executive to remain in jail

Idaho StatesmanNovember 19, 2013 

Elaine Martin

COURTESY PHOTO

A federal magistrate ordered construction company president Elaine Martin to remain in custody pending sentencing after learning she lied about her identity in talking to a jewelry buyer and after taking questionable actions regarding several personal and business credit accounts.

Judge Ronald Bush said he was worried by Martin misrepresenting her identity, using appraisals on certain pieces to press the Boise business to increase its offer and by bringing additional jewelry that hadn't been shown to the buyer previously.

"The court is concerned about the implications of such actions," Bush wrote. " The misrepresentation of her identity strongly implies an effort to conceal her actions, and the attempt to have the offer increased could infer that she intended to make a representation as required by the conditions of her release that she would be selling something at one price, but actually collecting a higher price."

Bush said he was troubled by other actions where Martin closed several personal and business credit card accounts and had her name removed from other business accounts. There could be a benign explanation, Bush said, that the actions were taken in an attempt to reduce the number of financial accounts and reduce the chance of new debt being incurred.

"The more troublesome inference is that — by removing Martin's name from the accounts — the most obvious evidence of her connection to the assets in such accounts is also removed, so that her ownership interest in such assets would not be identified, if not expressly disclosed to the probation officer and the government; or if the assets in such accounts were moved or dissipated, it would be difficult to tie her to any such decisions, and might also be difficult to determine what had happened to such assets," Bush wrote.

Martin was convicted in September on 22 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and filing false tax returns. She was initially held in custody after her conviction but Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill allowed her to be released a week later after agreeing to turn in her passport and disclosing all relevant financial information.

She was taken to jail on Oct. 31 after federal prosecutors accused her of violating her release agreement.

Bush agreed to delay Martin's sentencing, after she said she was bringing in new attorneys to assist her with filing post-conviction motions. She was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 9, It's now rescheduled for Feb. 21.

Co-defendant Darrell Swigert, a MarCon investor and one-time live-in boyfriend of Martin, had his sentencing moved to Feb. 20. 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.

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