BARNSTABLE, Mass. (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a four- to five-year prison sentence Monday for the founder of a Cape Cod charity that allegedly stole tens of thousands of dollars for personal use.
Touched by Angels and Gina Clark, the charity's founder, were found guilty on 52 counts last week, including the operation of an illegal lottery scheme and fair labor violations. Touched by Angels was organized to provide financial assistance to families dealing with serious medical situations or families who had lost loved ones. Instead, the organization allegedly defrauded more than a dozen families out of tens of thousands of dollars.
"This defendant victimized vulnerable families who sought her help after going through truly traumatic circumstances," Coakley said. "We're thankful that she has been taken off the streets and her organization has been shut down."
Barnstable Superior Court Judge Robert Rufo sentenced Clark to four to five years in state prison and 10 years of probation to be served concurrently. Clark must also pay approximately $3,700 in restitution. She is prohibited from engaging in any fundraising activities and having any contact with victims. TBA must pay more than $14,000 in fines and pay restitution to victims. A restitution hearing will be held June 21.
Clark and TBA also allegedly operated and promoted an illegal lottery scheme. None of the proceeds raised through the unauthorized raffles went to help TBA-sponsored families. Clark and TBA also misclassified employees as independent contractors in violation of multiple wage and hour regulations.