Frisco Couple Warns Others of ‘Con-Man' on the Run After Losing Millions

What to Know

  • Documents from a civil case filed against Martin show purchases totaling more than $2,000,000.
  • The couple believes the embezzlement is closer to $3,000,000.
  • Martin is currently awaiting a court date in Collin County on criminal charges.

A Frisco couple is warning others about their former personal assistant who they say spent millions of dollars’ worth of their money on a lavish lifestyle. Now with warrants out for his arrest, John Wright Martin’s on the run, and they worry he could con others just as he did them.

Kristy and Randy Pitchford first hired Martin back in 2014.

“He was great, outstanding, competent and well mannered, intelligent and really did a good job for all of the things we cared about,” said Randy Pitchford.

Little by little, the Pitchfords assigned Martin more responsibility. Eight months into his employment, they were moving Randy’s video game business to Frisco, building a new house and opening Nerdvana, a restaurant and coffee shop.

That’s how they say Martin began to help with finances, setting up new accounts for both business and home.

“It was our intent and understanding that they were set up as holding accounts for just backup money,” said Pitchford.

They also thought no one had access. They didn’t realize Martin did until after he had left them to start his own interior design business nearly two years later.

The first clue came in February of 2017 when Kristy went to transfer money between accounts to make payroll at the restaurant.

“She discovered that the account had been drained. The account was empty, and that didn’t make any sense because there had been plenty of money in there,” said Pitchford.

When she questioned Martin, he quickly acknowledged the issue pointing to a mix up from their bank between their account and a new one he set up for his business.

“Kristy absolutely believed it… no reason not to,” said Pitchford.

But when the check Martin wrote to cover the majority of the discrepancy bounced, the couple began digging only to find the problem was much larger than they first thought.

“We discovered that the money he was stealing from us, he was immediately spending on a lavish lifestyle,” said Pitchford.

Court documents show hundreds of charges Martin made using the couple’s American Express account from February of 2015 through February of 2017. The expenses range from expensive meals and lengthy bar tabs to high end hotel stays including one in Cancun topping $12,000. Other purchases include furniture, close to $20,000 in graphic design and photography services the couple believe were for his interior design business and luxury clothing.

Pitchford points to the private jet Martin hired to fly his friends to Florida for a party, which was an excursion totaling $60,000.

When he purchased a home using money they believed he pulled from an account he secretly got an ATM account for, they didn’t realize why he was so private about its location. That’s when they realized it was in their own gated community just two blocks from their house.

Documents from a civil case filed against Martin last year show purchases totaling more than $2,000,000. Today, they believe the embezzlement is closer to $3,000,000.

When Martin was arrested and jailed for felony theft in April of 2017, the house and furnishings were handed over to the Pitchfords which court documents total at $697,452. The rest, they believe is a complete loss.

“We’ll never get our money back. That ship sailed. But maybe someone else can be wiser and more vigilant than we were able to be,” said Pitchford.

The Pitchfords say this experience has been a hard lesson. But with Martin now once again out from behind bars, they’re hoping their story can prevent him from conning someone else.

He’s currently awaiting a court date in Collin County on criminal charges.

The document below is a small snapshot of the charges that the couple says Martin charged to their American Express account.

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New Spending Report (Text)
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