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DA: Northampton Co. attorney Anthony Martino stole from his own clients

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 22 2012 03:27:59 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 23 2012 06:14:26 AM CDT

A Northampton County attorney is in trouble with the law after officials said he stole money from his own clients.

EASTON, Pa. -

For years, Anthony Martino defended people accused of crimes. Now, the former Northampton County solicitor and public defender needs a defense attorney for himself.

A 16-count grand jury indictment alleges Martino stole money from some of his private clients in what's been called a "rob Peter to pay Paul" scenario.

District Attorney John Morganelli said the trail started with the estate of a man who wanted to leave his money to Moravian College after he died in 2008.

"Anthony J. Martino wrote 96 checks to himself from the estate," said Morganelli. "Those 97 checks totaled $237,306."

When it came time to pay Moravian College, Martino took money -- a $75,000 settlement and an $87,000 IRS payment -- from two other clients, Morganelli said. Martino also borrowed $50,000 from a client to make the payment to Moravian, according to a grand jury presentment.

"These are serious charges. This involves a breach of fiduciary relationship between client and attorney. These are very serious charges," said Morganelli.

Martino turned himself in and was charged with a list of crimes, ranging from theft to forgery and receiving property.

His former partners, who have nothing to do with this case,  said they are reserving comment until they see the indictment.

Meantime, Morganelli said the investigation of Anthony Martino is not over. His office is checking into several other claims that have come into his office.

69 News left messages for Martino and visited his Bangor home for comment but could not reach him.

Martino's preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 31.