Cook County Judge Accused of Misappropriating $250,000 to Buy Bitcoin


The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has filed a fraud complaint against Patricia Martin, a former Cook County judge, for allegedly misappropriating nearly $250,000 of a 95-year-old man’s money. The complaint was filed on May 31.

In November 2020, Martin had been asked by the man’s doctor (who held power of attorney) to manage the man’s financial affairs. She agreed and promised to use the money only for the man’s benefit. However, in December, she took $115,353.45 from two of the man’s bank accounts without permission, and used it to purchase $110,000 worth of cryptocurrency.

Between February 2021 and October 2022, Martin allegedly used more of the man’s money without permission for her own benefit, including to purchase additional cryptocurrency, and for her own personal purposes.

In July 2022, the senior living facility where the man had moved contacted the doctor to let him know that the man’s bills had not been paid for two months and that his account was in arrears by more than $41,000. The doctor then discovered the closed bank accounts and hired an attorney to investigate Martin’s handling of the man’s finances. The attorney corresponded with Martin but failed to get answers to his questions.

In total, Martin is accused of taking about $246,203.80 from the man for her own use. The investigation panel found merit to the complaint, accusing Martin of fraud, lying, and failing to cooperate with the investigation. A hearing is now pending, which could result in disciplinary action such as suspension or disbarment.

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