Attorney Charged with Stealing $1.8 Million from Oxford Woman's Estate
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that PETER M. CLARK, 57, of Woodbury, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with stealing more than $1.8 million from the estate of an Oxford woman who died in 2010.
According to the criminal complaint, Miriam S. Strong of Oxford died on July 2, 2010. At the time of her death, Strong had a will, which left money, property and other items to a list of individuals, the Town of Oxford, the State of Connecticut, and several religious and other charitable entities. The will also called for the creation of a scholarship fund for college-bound students from Oxford. CLARK drafted the will as Strong’s attorney and served as a witness to Strong’s execution of the will. The will named CLARK and another individual as co-executors. The investigation has revealed that, during the course of the administration of the will, CLARK took at least $1.8 million from Strong’s estate for his own use.
The complaint charges CLARK with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
CLARK was arrested this morning at his residence. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and will be released after he posts a $500,000 bond that will be co-signed by family members.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut State Police – Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.