NBC 10 I-Team: Central Falls man sentenced in federal court on ID theft conspiracy
A federal judge sentenced a Central Falls man on Thursday morning after he pleaded guilty to four counts including identity theft, bank fraud, conspiracy and transportation of stolen goods.
Reynaldo Martinez, 25, faced 88 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine on 10 different counts, but both prosecutors and the defense suggested a lesser sentence. Martinez was sentenced to four years in federal prison, three years supervised release and must pay approximately $38,000 in restitution.
In his guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Martinez admitted to the court that he stole other people’s identity and used multiple credit cards in their name to buy between $40,000 and $90,000 in goods. He also admitted that he did not plan to pay the credit card debt.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Ferland told the judge that Martinez stole computers, cell phones, TVs, and other electronic devices from many retailers including Kohls, Home Depot and Best Buy. He then moved from electronic devices to furniture by making purchases using other people's identity at Cardi's Furniture and Raymour and Flanagan.
Ferland went on to say that Martinez had his own customers lined up who would send him photos from the retailers' websites of the furniture they wanted to purchase from him. "This conspiracy involves others ...they are paying attention to what happens with this defendant," Ferland told the court.
Kevin Fitzergald, Martinez's attorney, told the court that 48 months is twice as long as he had recently served in prison, but felt it was fair based on the sentencing guidelines. "
"I think 48 months makes a lot of sense," Fitzgerald told the court.
Martinez addressed the court saying, "I apologize for all the criminal acts that I did and I admitted to them because there’s no reason to lie."
Judge McConnell told Martinez that he was smart and hopes he uses the time in prison to think about what he's done and put that part of his life behind him.
"It's a sad day today Mr. Martinez because you'll have a hefty sentence," McConnell said. "It's clear from everything I've read that you're a smart, decent person who unfortunately spent a decade defrauding people.
"I wish and pray that it will jolt you in using your God given talent and use that," he added. And I hope somehow you figure out how to put that part of your life behind you."
McConnell went on to acknowledge that Martinez had a tough upbringing. "Your dad was not part of your life because he was deported. Your mom was involved with drugs and also deported," McConnell said. "You never turned to drugs or guns."