When a man convicted of scamming four Seal Beach investors out of $302,000 skipped out on his sentencing hearing last month, authorities issued a warrant for the fugitive.
As it turns out, he was already incarcerated in a Los Angeles County Jail on other charges. Now prosecutors worry the new charges could mean that the elderly victims of John Wesley Martynec may not get restitution for their losses.
John Wesley Martynec, who fraudulently promised to buy and resell foreclosed homes for a profit, remains at Twin Towers Correction Facility in Los Angeles in lieu of $635,000 bail
Last year, the 36-year-old Martynec pleaded guilty in Orange County to two felony counts of grand theft, one felony count of untrue statements in connection with a purchase or sale of securities and the use of a scheme to defraud, one felony count of financially exploiting an elder, and a sentencing enhancement for property loss exceeding $200,000, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Martynec faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.
A judge ordered him to appear at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana Feb. 8, but on Nov. 6 he was arrested on suspicion of identity theft and grand theft and sent to jail in Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, Martynec faces 102 counts of identity theft and grand theft and allegedly owes restitution of $1 million, according to a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Denise Moleman.
He has been housed at Twin Towers since Dec. 26, and he’s due in L.A. Superior Court April 26, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records.
Following Martynec’s absence February, an Orange County judge issued a bench warrant for Martynec’s arrest, and Martynec, is "technically a fugitive" though in custody elsewhere, according to prosecutor George McFetridge, who's handling Martynec's Orange County case.
McFetridge, an Orange County deputy district attorney, said he’s concerned Martynec might not pay back the four Seal Beach victims — two of whom are 78-years-old — before it’s too late.
McFetridge said one of the victims lost $100,000 in Martynec's scheme.
“That’s his (the victim's) bucket list money,” McFetridge said. “So much for having cruises.”
According to McFetridge, Martynec took a plea deal in which many of the more than 25 charges would be dropped in exchange for pleading guilty to other offenses. Also as part of the deal, McFetridge said, the more money Martynec pays back, the better off his final sentence could be, depending on the sentencing judge.
Unfortunately, if Martynec ends up sentenced to a Los Angeles County jail that could interfere with paying the victims' back., McFetridge said.
From August 2009 to August 2010, authorities allege Martynec stole $302,000 from four investors.
Martynec allegedly told the investors he had 10 years of experience in “buying and flipping” foreclosed homes for profit. They gave him the money to buy distressed homes but he allegedly never bought any property.
On Sept. 13, 2010, one of the investors, questioned Martynec about the investment summaries he was receiving and discovered they were fabricated, authorities allege.
Martynec was reported to the Seal Beach Police Department, which subsequently began an investigation.