Retired Chicago judge Patricia Martin (Image source: CBS News Chicago)
A retired Chicago judge has been disbarred after admitting to scamming her uncle, a Tuskegee Airman, out of more than $240K while he was in a nursing home.
Former Cook County Juvenile Judge Patricia Martin had her law license taken away from her by the Illinois Supreme Court after she admitted to taking“at least $246,203.80 of … funds without his authority for her own personal purposes” including the purchasing of cryptocurrency, according to CBS News Chicago. The debacle is even worse because Martin’s uncle, Oscar Wilkerson, was a Tuskegee Airman who fought during World War II. He died in a suburban Chicago nursing home in February 2023.
“She intentionally used for her own purposes more than $240,000 she had agreed to hold for an elderly relative who was residing in a nursing home, made false statements to the physician who held her relative’s power of attorney about the balances in his bank and investment accounts, and did not produce documents in response to an ARDC subpoena,” according to the court’s Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
The news station reported that the scammed uncle, Wilkerson, filed a lawsuit against Martin five months before he died. In the legal documents, Wilkerson said that he had appointed Martin as his power of attorney as he lived out his final days. During that time, Martin took hundreds of thousands out of his accounts and converted the money into “cryptocurrency that she held in her own name and over which she maintained exclusive control.”
In June 2023, CBS Chicago obtained the affidavit on which Martin admitted to her wrongdoing, saying “the evidence would clearly and convincingly establish the facts and conclusions of misconduct.”
The Cook County State Attorney’s office and the Illinois Attorney General have launched probes into Martin’s misconduct with the possibility that felony charges could be filed against her.
Martin defiantly stated that she should not have to pay the $1.1 million fine nor be prosecuted because the plaintiff, Wilkerson, has died.
Source: Rolling Out