The former president of the Cape Cod charity Touched by Angels is in jail after a judge said her recent shoplifting arrest violated the terms of her release on earlier charges that she stole money from her charity.
The sight of Gina Clark in handcuffs was a welcome one to families who say they only received a fraction of the money Clark and her charity were supposedly raising for them as they dealt with tragedies, including the death of children.
“That was just wonderful. I can't explain it. I was just so happy for all the victims,” said Bobbi-Jean Finn.
Clark had been free since May when she pleaded not guilty to a long list of charges ranging from gross fraud to larceny. The Attorney General’s office says she stole $150,000 from her charity – a figure disclosed for the first time Thursday in court.
Then last week, police in Plymouth arrested her for shoplifting at Kohls.
According to the police report, Clark stole $1,000 worth of merchandise, including lingerie and jewelry and “concealing everything at the bottom of the cart."
Clark told police "she didn't know how the items got in there,” according to the report. But her attorney told us another story, saying Clark forgot the items were in the shopping cart.
But the arrest was enough to prompt a Barnstable Superior Court judge overseeing the charity fraud case to increase her bail to $25,000, up from the personal recognizance she had been released on.
Clark apparently has the money to post bail, but there was snag in court Thursday. The judge wants her monitored by a GPS bracelet but there wasn't enough time to get that in place Thursday, so she's spending at least the night in jail.
“Once a thief always a thief because I just think that's how she is and I don't think she'll get over it,” said Natalie Duarte, who says Clark took advantage of her family after her 16-year-old granddaughter Crystal Manchuk was hit and killed by a car three years ago this week.
“I'd like to see her behind bars for awhile. I mean my granddaughter's in a grave. She'll never come out of there. (Clark) will be out, but I want to see her in there for a long time,” Duarte said.
As Clark was led to a sheriff’s van waiting to take her to jail, FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet asked Clark about the latest developments.
“Gina what's up with the shoplifting charge?” Beaudet asked. “Are you that desperate for money? You're going to jail Gina. Do you think that's where you belong? The families say once a thief always a thief. What do you say to them?”
Clark walked into the van without answering.
Once she is released on a GPS bracelet, the judge ordered her to be at home from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m., and she can't leave the area without permission.
The judge also wants her to have a mental health evaluation.