A husband and wife have been indicted for conspiracy to steal public money from two United States Government agencies.
The story of the Kaczmarczyks (pronounced Kaz-MARE-ziks) of Knoxville, formerly of Monroe County, would make a lengthy novel filled with deceit, an unprosecuted homicide indictment, tall tales of fabricated special military operations, and now accusations of bilking two federal agencies out of thousands.
Charles Chester Kaczmarczyk, 59, and his wife, Martha Ann McClancey Kaczmarczyk, 62, both of Knoxville, formerly of Monroe County, were arrested on July 24, on charges contained in a July 17, eight-count indictment, alleging they conspired to steal public money from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.
Both appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. They pleaded not guilty to the charges in the indictment. After the court originally announced its intent to release both defendants on bond, further questioning of the defendants resulted in the court ordering them held overnight and brought back before the court at 2 p.m. on July 25.
They were ordered by the court to be held overnight. Both waived the July 25 hearing and conceded to stay in jail until the trial, set for September 26.
The indictment alleges that from October 2006 through May 2012, the Kaczmarczyks conspired to steal money from the United States by obtaining more than $1,000 in disability payments and benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration.
In support of the conspiracy, it is alleged Charles Kaczmarczyk fabricated information regarding his participation in Special Operation combat missions in which he did not participate. The indictment further alleges the conspiracy was also supported by the manufacture of false U.S. Air Force records by Charles Kaczmarczyk showing he had earned numerous medals for his combat experience, including two Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that Martha Ann Kaczmarczyk separately submitted false information to the Social Security Administration in support of her own disability claim.
If convicted, both face a term of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Both are also subject to pay restitution and to forfeit the proceeds of this conspiracy.
This investigation was a joint effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force, Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of Inspector General, Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Air Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zachary Bolitho will represent the United States at trial.
In 2001, Charles Kaczmarczyk received a suspended sentence for arson and theft in New Hampshire.
The couple more recently own a gun shop in Coker Creek, Tenn., where Martha McClancey Kaczmarczyk lived with her husband Robert J. McClancey until his death in May 2006.
Kaczmarczyk was indicted in the 2006 Monroe County death of Robert McClancey. He then married McClancey’s widow, Martha Ann.
At approximately 5:15 p.m. on Monday, May 15, 2006 Monroe County Communications dispatched an ambulance and law enforcement to the home of Robert McClancey and his wife Martha on Unicoi Lake Road after a 911 caller said he needed assistance on a DOA and mentioned a gun. This led officers to believe at first that the death was a result of a shooting. Soon thereafter Central Dispatch clarified that the death may not have been a shooting. When MCSD deputies arrived, they found Robert J. McClancey, 57, dead in a recliner with a loaded gun near his hand but he had not been shot.
Authorities said the room was in disarray with a “do not resuscitate” letter on a nearby table. Det. Sgt. Travis Jones looked at photos taken on a digital camera found in the room. He said the photos showed different placements of items in the room. McClancey’s body was not in the chair and pills had been spilled. Investigators noticed McClancey’s body was in an awkward position in the chair, speculating it had been placed there.
During the investigation, detectives formed a theory that McClancey had actually been killed. Det. Jones at the time speculated McClancey’s wife’s friend, Kaczmarczyk, could have killed him, then placed the body in the chair. Det. Jones said after questioning Kaczmarczyk, it appeared that Kaczmarczyk had found McClancey collapsed in another room and actually waited for McClancey to die before calling 911.
A Monroe County Grand Jury indicted Charles Chester Kaczmarczyk, but Kaczmarczyk said the detective had not asked him for permission to search his duffel bag. That is where he found the camera with the photos leading him to suspect foul play. the judge dismissed the case. Meanwhile, a new sheriff was elected and the case was never pursued.
So far, federal authorities have seized more than $78,000 from the couple’s bank account as a result of the most recent indictment. A trial date of Sept. 26 has been set.
By Wes Hall