Developer Indicted For Embezzling From A Bankruptcy Estate
Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Clark D. East (59, Sugarland, TX) with embezzlement from a bankruptcy estate. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, East obtained a loan from Stearns Bank, a member bank of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Minneapolis, to develop a property located at 3700 Ulmerton Road Plaza in Clearwater. East subsequently defaulted on the loan and Stearns Bank obtained approval to sell the property at foreclosure on March 27, 2012. The day before the scheduled foreclosure sale, East filed for bankruptcy protection with the United States Bankruptcy Court through his company, 3700 Ulmerton Road, LLC. During the bankruptcy proceedings, East was ordered by the Court to sell the property and pay $1.2 million in sales proceeds to Stearns Bank. Rather than repaying Stearns Bank, East embezzled $828,854.66 of proceeds that were part of the bankruptcy estate and due to Stearns Bank.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General. The Office of the United States Trustee for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, also provided substantial assistance. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor and Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.