On Monday, November 20, 2023, CBS News reported that former Cook County judge Patricia Martin was indicted on seven felony charges. A Cook County grand jury indicted Martin on three counts of theft, two counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person, one count of money laundering, and one count of financial institution fraud relating to incidents between December 2020 and October 2022.
Prosecutors allege that as the power of attorney for her uncle Oscar Wilkerson, a former Tuskegee airman, Martin stole nearly $250,000 from Wilkerson’s bank accounts. She is accused of transferring money from his accounts to at least two other accounts to conceal the alleged thefts. Martin purportedly used the funds for her own cryptocurrency investments.
Wilkerson lived in a nursing home for his final days and sued Martin before his death in February 2023. Court documents state Martin failed to respond to subpoenas and court hearings related to the civil case. A judge ordered Martin to pay $1.1 million to Wilkerson’s estate for her “continued unresponsiveness.”
In September 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court disbarred Martin, who spent 24 years as a Cook County judge prior to retiring in 2020, for misconduct related to Wilkerson’s funds. She admitted in an affidavit to clear evidence of wrongdoing.
Additionally, prosecutors charged Martin with criminal contempt in July 2023 for violating court orders not to access Wilkerson’s money. She is accused of making numerous small withdrawals after the orders were issued. Martin pleaded not guilty to the new charges and was released on her own recognizance ahead of her next court appearance on December 20. If convicted, she faces penalties for allegedly stealing from her elderly relative and former client.
Source: CBS News