Elderly woman facing dozens of charges over alleged illegal land sale

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By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

A 69-year-old woman is facing more than 70 charges for allegedly selling a piece of land that did not belong to her.

Esmeralda Martin is being prosecuted alongside her husband Elridge ‘Jury’ Martin who is facing 30 charges in relation to the same incident.

The couple are accused of fraudulent conversion and larceny, among other things.

The complainant claims to have made multiple payments totalling $55,490 via instalments to the defendants between May 1 2015 and December 20 2020 for the purchase of a parcel of land in Liberta. She believed she was acquiring the land from Elridge, who had advertised it for sale on social media.

However, on April 12 2023, the complainant made a shocking discovery when she attempted to obtain the deed and title for the plot she thought she had purchased. Despite her numerous efforts, she was reportedly unable to secure the necessary documents from the Martins.

Concerned about the situation, she decided to conduct her own investigation and reportedly found that the land did not belong to the couple.

The complainant promptly contacted the police and reported the alleged scam. She apparently stated that she and her daughter had visited the couple’s home on multiple occasions to make 136 payments, and they had received receipts for each transaction.

Subsequently, a search warrant was executed at the elderly couple’s home on June 4 2023, which is said to have led to the discovery of several receipt books.

In June, Elridge appeared before Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh and was released on bail.

Yesterday, Esmeralda made her first court appearance before Magistrate Dexter Wason having been recently charged, and was also granted bail.

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