Ex-New Mexico tax employee pleads guilty to money laundering

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico Taxation and Revenue employee has pleaded guilty to wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering.

Prosecutors say 45-year-old George Martinez of Albuquerque was indicted by a federal grand jury last March. They say Martinez pleaded guilty Wednesday to 42 counts each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft and six counts of money laundering.

According to the indictment, Martinez was accused of using his position as a unit manager at the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department to fraudulently alter tax refunds and direct nearly $690,000 to bank accounts that he controlled between May 2011 and July 2018.

Prosecutors say Martinez faces up to 32 years in prison when he’s sentenced.