Married Montco Business Owners Steal $124K by Using Personal Information From Victims: Police - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Married Montco Business Owners Steal $124K by Using Personal Information From Victims: Police

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    Local Couple Steals Thousands In Alleged Identity Theft: Police

    A Montgomery County couple is on the run. Police say they are stealing identities and cashing in on it. Eric and Portia Martin are accused of stealing at least $124,000 under other people's names. NBC10's Deanna Durante is in Upper Dublin Township with more. (Published Monday, July 27, 2015)

    Police are searching for a Montgomery County couple who they say swindled tens of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims, using their names and social security numbers.

    Eric Martin, 33, and his wife and business partner, 29-year-old Portia Martin, are accused of creating credit accounts by using stolen identity information and making $124,000 in the process. 

    The couple owns Centra Spike, Inc., a HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) company based in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Police say at least eight victims were billed tens of thousands of dollars for loans or credit cards they never applied for due to the couple’s scam. All of the victims say they never met the couple. 

    “I hope they go to jail for a long time,” said one victim who did not want to be identified.  

    The victim told NBC10 she received a bill from Synchrony Bank in February saying she owed them $14,000.

    “How did you get my information?” she asked. “I don’t even go online.”

    In addition to not knowing the couple, the victim said she never hired their company. Police say they’re not even sure if the company provided heat and AC repair as was advertised. 

    “When I look at these facts with the identity information being taken from people who are completely unknown to the business being used to apply for the fraudulent loan, having the loan come back to the business and the money going directly into their personal accounts, it seems to me a very obvious and brazen action,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. 

    Police continue to search for the couple who will face identity theft and conspiracy charges as well as other offenses. 

    Eric Martin has black hair, brown eyes, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 240 pounds. Portia Martin has black hair, brown eyes, stands 5-foot-2 and weighs 140 pounds. Police say the couple may be at the following addresses:

    • 944 East Johnson Street, Apt. 304A, Philadelphia
    • 1916 West 68th Avenue, Philadelphia
    • 7165 Georgian Road, Philadelphia
    • 2609 Rooks Head Place, Waldorf, Maryland 

    If you have any information on their whereabouts please call Upper Dublin Township Police Detective Michael Gommer at 215-646-2101 x3464.