Secretary of State Announces Guilty Plea in Pizza Parlor Scam
Prosecution Assistance Unit works with Johnson County Prosecutor to compel scammer to return stolen dough.
INDIANAPOLIS (August 11, 2011) Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White announced today that a case initiated and carried out by the Prosecution Assistance Unit (PAU) in Johnson County has resulted in a guilty plea. Sean Clark pled guilty to the lead count of Securities Fraud as a Class C felony and received 8 years probation on the condition that he repays his victims the money that was scammed from them.
Clark solicited investments for a proposed pizza restaurant that never opened and instead pocketed most of the money himself. Three victims in Johnson, Marion and Hendricks counties gave Clark more than $100,000 that he is now required to pay back as a condition of his court sentence.
“Fortunately these victims have a chance to regain their losses,” White said. “The offers this scammer made were not registered with our office, and that helped us solidify our case against him. Toss one up for the good guys with an all-around great joint effort by the staffs in this office and in Johnson County!”
The criminal case was filed in Johnson County two years ago. The verdict and possibility for restitution were made possible through the partnership with Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper, PAU investigators Charlie Williams and Kimberly Haskett, and Diana Moers and John Keiffner, PAU attorneys sworn in as deputy prosecutors to handle the case.
“Without victims coming forward with their complaints to our Securities Division, there is often little chance for any restitution,” Investor Education Coordinator for the Secretary of State Melanie Woods said. “If you think you’ve been the target of a pie-in-the-sky scam, visit http://www.indianainvestmentwatch.com/ to see if the broker or investment is registered.”
The Prosecution Assistance Unit was created within the Enforcement Section of the Securities Division to assist law enforcement agencies in prosecuting white collar criminals. The Unit operates under the direction and supervision of the Securities Commissioner and the Senior Investigator.
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