The Norman Transcript

January 8, 2014

Lawton woman sent to prison for stealing cash

She worked as a guard for ATM servicing company


The Norman Transcript

LAWTON, OK —

 A Lawton woman has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars that should have been replenished in ATMs, a federal prosecutor announced.

U.S. Attorney Sanford Coats said Maria Estelle Martin, 48, worked as an armed security guard for a company that serviced ATMs in the Lawton area. Coats said Martin’s duties included replenishing ATMs with cash from financial institutions’ vaults.

Martin pleaded guilty last year to one count of embezzling money from a credit institution. She had faced a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, but was sentenced Tuesday to 33 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $847,942.50 in restitution. 

“Martin gambled away the stolen money through frequent visits to Lawton-area Indian casinos, where she would sometimes put over $70,000 into a single slot machine,” Coats said in a news release.

A court filing by defense attorney Don Herring described Martin as caring wife and mother who made a “tragic misjudgment.” 

“It is clear that the current situation is a complete anomaly in the life of Mrs. Martin. Her friends and family make it very clear that Mrs. Martin’s conduct in committing this crime is so out of character as to virtually defy belief,” Herring wrote.