Stock Markets
Daily Stock Markets News

Former judge accused of stealing from Tuskegee Airman indicted

A former Cook County judge accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank accounts of an elderly former Tuskegee Airman to purchase cryptocurrency has been indicted on seven felony counts of theft, money laundering and financial exploitation of an elderly person.

The felony charges were lodged Nov. 9 against Patricia Martin, who stepped down in 2020 as presiding judge in the child protection division in the Cook County Circuit Court. She’s allowed to live in Missouri while she awaits her next court date in December, according to court records.

“She had a long and distinguished career, and we expect her to be vindicated,” said Martin’s attorney, Michael Leonard.

Tuskegee airman Oscar Lawton Wilkerson spoke at the Southland College Prep Charter High School, Feb. 27, 2017.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which handles allegations of lawyer misconduct, said in a May 31 fraud complaint that Martin stole from Oscar Wilkerson, an elderly man who’s financial affairs she was supposed to manage. They allege she used the money for her own benefits, including buying more than $100,000 in cryptocurrency in her own name.

Wilkerson died in February at 97.

Afternoon Briefing


Chicago Tribune editors’ top story picks, delivered to your inbox each afternoon.

In total, the attorney discipline complaint alleges Martin took $246,203.80 of Wilkerson’s money during about a two year period. It also accused her of lying to the man and his doctor and failing to cooperate with an investigation.

Lawyers for Wilkerson also filed a lawsuit against Martin last year where a judge ordered a $1.1 million default judgment due to Martin’s “continued unresponsiveness” to court hearings and orders. Martin has already been disbarred.

Martin’s attorneys are appealing the default judgment.

Martin filed a motion in July to dismiss the judgment, arguing, among other issues, that Wilkerson’s death in February left the case without a proper plaintiff.

Mary Wisniewski, a spokesperson for the Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ office, said in a statement that “neither judges nor employees … can comment on pending or impending cases, under Illinois Supreme Court ethical rules.”

Read More: Former judge accused of stealing from Tuskegee Airman indicted

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.