The prison sentence has more than doubled for a 54-year-old San Carlos man who lied to a judge about needing heart surgery in order to delay his punishment for a previous case.
In February, Michael Dale Martinez was scheduled to be sentenced to a maximum of four years in prison on felony convictions for burglary, credit card fraud and ID theft.
On the day of his sentencing, however, Martinez submitted a forged doctor’s note to a judge stating he was scheduled for major heart surgery. The forgery led to more charges and a far longer prison stint.
On Monday, Martinez pleaded no contest to multiple charges as part of a plea bargain that packs a state prison sentence of nine years and eight months, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He is scheduled to be sentenced – once and for all – on Dec. 10.
Prosecutors described Martinez as a career criminal with nearly a dozen felony convictions to his name. Before lying to the judge, he was busted passing nine fraudulent checks at the Costco in South San Francisco totaling more than $16,000, Wagstaffe said.
Martinez was scheduled to be sentenced for that crime on Feb. 13, but a doctor’s note stated he would undergo major surgery in two days. The judge delayed the sentencing, but the daughter of Martinez’ girlfriend, who also happens to be a victim in his theft case, knew the truth. She came forward and a prosecutor obtained the letter Martinez had submitted to the judge.
Among the problems with the letter, according to Wagstaffe, was it was dated last year, and the bottom of the letter listed past members of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
The DA’s office contacted the doctor named in the note and learned he had not seen Martinez since August.
“There was no surgery scheduled and no heart issue requiring surgery,” Wagstaffe said.
Martinez remains in custody. A restitution hearing in his case has been scheduled for Nov. 22.