Martin MacNeill sentenced to 4 years in prison for ID theft

2009-08-13T00:15:00Z 2012-08-27T14:08:42Z Martin MacNeill sentenced to 4 years in prison for ID theftJanice Peterson - Daily Herald Daily Herald
August 13, 2009 12:15 am  • 

A former clinical director of the Utah State Developmental Center in American Fork was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to four years in prison on identity theft charges.

Martin Joseph MacNeill, 53, pleaded guilty in June to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of aiding and abetting. His attorney, Randall Spencer, said the sentence was agreed upon in MacNeill's plea agreement, and his client is prepared to serve the sentence in federal prison.

"I don't think anybody's happy to go to prison, but he's accepted responsibility for what he's done," he said.

Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah, said MacNeill also will be placed on supervised release for 24 months after he is released from prison.

MacNeill's attorney requested he be released from custody until the Bureau of Prisons designates him to a prison, but the request was denied, she said. The judge also imposed a fine of $5,000.

MacNeill was indicted, along with Gypsy Jyll Willis, aka Jillian Giselle MacNeill, 32, in January. They were originally charged with five counts of misuse of a Social Security number, five counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of making a false statement. Willis pleaded guilty in April and will be sentenced Sept. 1. According to Willis's plea documents, she pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft and faces two years in federal prison.

According to a statement submitted to the court concerning MacNeill's pre-sentence report, MacNeill stole the identity of his daughter while she was in Ukraine in order to appear to be married to Willis. Spencer said the couple were never married, and MacNeill used his daughter's identity because Willis had debts that he did not want to take on.

In the statement, Spencer refuted several aspects of the pre-sentence report, which he said contained allegations concerning MacNeill's involvement in his wife's death, which occurred shortly after a plastic surgery procedure. The state medical examiner's office found that Michele MacNeill died of natural causes, he said.

Though the allegations have not led to charges, they can be included in the report under "other relevant conduct," Spencer said.

"Our main objection is we don't believe those allegations are relevant, nor do we believe there is any substance to those allegations," he said.

The allegations would not alter the length of MacNeill's sentence, Spencer said, but there are concerns over what effect they could have in the future. The pre-sentence report will become part of MacNeill's record and could affect his classification in prison.

"That's a significant concern," Spencer said. "Plus, we don't think it's fair to muddy these waters."

MacNeill also was charged in January in 4th District Court with sexual abuse and witness tampering. Those charges were dismissed in 2008, then refiled. That case has been pending in Provo as attorneys awaited the results of MacNeill's federal case.

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