Developer Pleads Guilty To Embezzling From A Bankruptcy Estate
Tampa, FL – Acting United States W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Clark D. East (59, Sugarland, TX) has pleaded guilty to embezzlement from a bankruptcy estate. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, 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 for through his company, 3700 Ulmerton Road, LLC. During the bankruptcy proceedings, East was ordered to sell the property and to remit $1.2 million in sales proceeds to Stearns Bank. Rather than repaying Stearns Bank, East embezzled approximately $800,000 of proceeds that were part of the bankruptcy estate and due to Stearns Bank.
This case was investigated by the 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 is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor and Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.