Las Vegas woman sentenced to jail for PFD, welfare fraud

casey.grove@adn.comDecember 22, 2012 

A Nevada resident was sentenced to jail time Friday for welfare and Permanent Fund dividend fraud in Alaska, according to the state Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.

Rebecca Martinez, a 50-year-old resident of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty Friday to illegally receiving $42,000 in public assistance benefits and more than $5,000 in Permanent Fund dividends for herself and her children, according to Assistant Attorney General Clint Campion. A judge sentenced Martinez to nine months in jail, to be followed by five years of probation, and ordered her to pay more than $50,000 restitution to the state.

Martinez applied for public assistance in Alaska from 2003 to 2005 while living in Nevada and collecting public assistance there as well, Campion said. She also applied for and received Permanent Fund dividends for herself and her children in 2004 and 2005, Campion said.

Investigators caught on to Martinez's scheme in 2008, she was charged in 2009, and Alaska State Troopers extradited her from Nevada to Alaska this summer, Campion said.

Martinez pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree theft. Along with the jail time and restitution, Martinez is permanently banned from receiving Permanent Fund dividends and certain public assistance.

In July 2012, Martinez' daughter, 34-year-old Las Vegas resident Monica Martinez, was sentenced for a similar fraud scheme and sentenced to 18 months behind bars and ordered to pay more than $40,000, Campion said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

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