Developer Sentenced For Embezzling From A Bankruptcy Estate
Tampa, FL – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich today sentenced Clark D. East (59, Sugarland, TX) to 30 months in federal prison for embezzlement from a bankruptcy estate. He pleaded guilty on April 3, 2017.
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. He 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 U.S. Bankruptcy Court 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 the 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General. The Office of the U.S. Trustee for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division) also provided substantial assistance. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor and Assistant United States Attorney Jay G. Trezevant.