In an official update Thursday morning, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office reported that Erika Martin, 45, of Manchester was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, four counts of petit larceny, as well as two counts of issuing a bad check.
The charges are a result of crimes that were discovered in the personal and business accounts of Martin during an investigation into missing fine money while serving as Manchester Town Justice.
The victims in this case were several area financial institutions that suffered a monetary loss as a result of Martin’s actions of king checks between various bank accounts that she held in 2016.
She was arraigned in Ontario County Court before Judge Kocher.
Deputies say she was released on her own recognizance and will appear again at a later date.
Manchester Town Justice Erika Martin, who was accused in September of skimming funds from court payments beginning the very month her term did in January 2016.
Now, she faces eight additional charges.
The charges range, but include writing bad checks, juggling bank accounts, and pocketing as much as $9,000 through the embezzlement.
District Attorney Michael Tantillo said jail time is now part of the equation. “I think it’s very important that jail be there in this case. People who hold public office should be held to a higher standard,” he explained on Wednesday.
“[Martin] kited checks between a number of banks – floating checks where she didn’t have the money to cover them,” Tantillo explained. He said the charges involve personal and business accounts.
Martin’s attorney, Jason Housel, said that the new charges appear unrelated to her role as justice.
Ontario County Judge William Kocher offered Martin a deal, which would avoid a trial. However, that deal involved a 120 day jail sentence. She would have to plead guilty to the original embezzlement, and payback all of the stolen funds.
“Erika has maintained her innocence from the get-go. I don’t think the fact that there’s a new indictment is going to change her thinking in this,” Martin said, who expected the deal to be rejected.
The justice will have until December 20th to take the deal.