Chicago

Serial scammer Candace Clark sentenced to five years in prison

CHICAGO (CBS) — Following a collection of investigations by CBS 2, serial scammer Candace Clark was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had really helpful the five-year sentence, telling the court docket, Clark has “an unwavering commitment to defraud the community to obtain get what she wants.”

The prosecutor went by means of every one in every of Clark’s earlier convictions courting again to 2007, for which she solely obtained probation telling the decide she hasn’t but discovered her lesson and asking that the decide not give her probation this time round.

Before the sentence was handed down, Clark was given the prospect to converse. She apologized for her actions and added, she wasn’t actually conscious of the harm she had prompted. 

She and her lawyer, each requested the decide for five extra days to get her affairs in order.

The decide mentioned no to that. He added that probation is “not appropriate in this matter. Not by a long shot.” He then sentenced her to 5 years in the state penitentiary. With 30 days already credited and with good conduct in prison, it is doubtless she is going to solely be behind bars for two years and 5 months.

After sentencing, one in every of Clark’s sufferer’s Jamie Newell mentioned, “I mean, two-and-a-half years goes by in a blink and then she’s gonna be right back out on the streets doing it all over again.”

The lady who first tipped us off about Clark, Darlene Simmons, whose case was not a part of this felony conviction as a result of her case was too outdated, additionally attended this sentencing. “She’s going to be incarcerated. Whoopee, but I feel that the time served is not going to be long enough,” she mentioned. “I don’t think she thinks or feels that she’s done anything wrong. The attitude in court just now was like ‘Well, I, I, I’. What about the people that you screwed over? What about those of us who’s going through the hell that we’re going through right now?”

Simmons accused Clark of scamming her out of $73,000 of her 401k funds. She filed a civil case in opposition to Clark and received a $225,000 judgment.  

In this legal case, simply days earlier than Clark’s trial had been scheduled to start earlier this month, Clark agreed to a plea deal on the six felony fees she had been going through.

Jury choice had been set to start in Clark’s trial earlier than the plea settlement. That trial initially had been set to start in April however was postponed after each the decide and the prosecutor in the case got here down with COVID-19.

More than two years in the past, you first heard the title, Candace Clark. In January 2020, the CBS 2 Investigators introduced you the twisted story of her deceptions going again a long time.

First, we informed you about her elaborate productions throughout which she was sworn in because the Director of Special Investigations for the State of Illinois. In a kind of, she was sworn in as a United Nations attaché. CBS 2 confirmed she by no means held both of these positions. The state position did not exist. The ceremonies had been phony. The audio system and a lot of the viewers had been employed actors — Many of which informed CBS 2 they by no means received paid.

Our second investigation revealed Clark’s decades-long sample of dwelling rent-free in homes all through Chicago and the suburbs. Some had been even multi-million-dollar Lincoln Park luxurious properties. Several landlords informed us tales of how Clark would speak her means into their properties by offering upfront checks that will bounce days later after which she would by no means pay hire. The landlords had to evict her to get her out. That course of might take a number of months and even years. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) evicted Clark from Fiori Hadera’s Lincoln Park residence the day earlier than Clark received arrested.

Between 2008 and early 2020, the CBS 2 Investigators pieced collectively 24 instances the place landlords accused Clark of skipping out on hire, owing them some $300,000 in lost hire and repairs for harm left behind.

Chicago Police arrested Clark shortly after our experiences aired.

The most critical fees contain Clark utilizing cast paperwork to hire these luxurious properties in Lincoln Park and by no means paying any hire – greater than $80,000.

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