Adam Martin should have taken the deal. Jurors deliberated three hours Friday — including lunch — before finding the former Cold Spring Brewing Co. controller guilty of defrauding his employer, family and friends out of more than $680,000.
Martin, 34, contemplated a plea deal when he was charged by prosecutors in April with two counts of wire fraud alleging that he conducted his scheme from August 2011 through November 2014. When he balked, grand jurors handed up an indictment, which ultimately expanded to six counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counts of money laundering. After his Friday conviction, he could face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud counts, 10 years on the money laundering and a mandatory two years for aggravated identity theft.
Martin started at Cold Spring as a financial analyst in 2007 and was controller of the brewery from November 2009 through November 2014. He set up a business brokerage account at ETrade in November 2011 under the name DCI Change, listing a sister-in-law as director and primary trader. Investigators traced an unauthorized wire transfer of $243,627 from the brewery’s account to the DCI account.
Martin spent the brewery’s money for personal expenses, including a $106,000 down payment on a new home in Sartell, and $78,000 worth of personal expenses, including a vacation, furniture and clothing. The FBI investigation also found that Martin had stolen $30,000 from the brewery.
Martin also ran a separate Ponzi scheme in which he conned friends, relatives and acquaintances out of more than $330,000, claiming that he would use their money to conduct “day trades,” invest in individual retirement accounts or to provide a short-term bridge loan in a business purchase.
“In fact, aside from $14,500 that Martin briefly invested in an ETrade account before he wired it back to his personal Wells Fargo checking account, none of the money was ever placed into an investment account,” the trial brief said.
The trial begin Monday in U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright's courtroom in St. Paul.