Police Arrest Married Business Owners Accused of Stealing $124K by Using Personal Information From Victims

Police arrested a Montgomery County couple accused of swindling 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. They were both arrested Tuesday and taken into custody with bail set at $75,000 each.

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.

The couple faces identity theft and conspiracy charges. They are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on August 11.

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