BARNSTABLE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – A Barnstable woman convicted of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a charity she founded was sentenced Monday to up to five years in prison.
Gina Clark was also sentenced in Barnstable Superior Court to 10 years of probation upon release.
Clark founded the charity
Touched By Angels Inc. to give financial assistance to families who had
lost loved ones or dealing with serious medical situations.
Between 2007 and 2010, Clark organized fundraising events that took in more than $100,000, yet distributed only a small portion to families she was supposed to help, prosecutors said at trial. They said Clark "knowingly and intentionally" deceived families.
Clark, 42, was convicted Thursday of 52 charges after a 17-day trial and 11 hours of jury deliberations. She was charged with 26 counts of larceny of more than $250 by embezzlement, 16 counts of failure to pay minimum wage, gross fraud of more than $250, failure to pay overtime, running an illegal lottery scheme, failure to provide a suitable pay stub and independent contractor misclassification. As the verdict was read, the courtroom was filled with emotional outbursts from her family. Fox Undercover was first to report this story.
Witnesses testified that they felt betrayed by Clark.
Bobbi Finn testified that after a fundraising event in July 2008 to benefit her injured husband, she asked to see how much money had been raised.
Clark showed her the amount her family had received and stated other donations were for the organization.
"I said, 'that's our family, our story out there. You used our family to gain money that was supposed to help us'," Finn said.
Clark's attorney called the prosecution's case "smoke and mirrors.
"Every dollar these families received is a dollar they wouldn't have had if it wasn't for Gina Clark and Touched by Angels," Joan Fund said during closing statements.
She added there would be an appeal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.