3 Licking County Brothers Plead Guilty To Fraud, Money Laundering
COLUMBUS – Philip C. Clark, Jr., 66, David Clark, 59, and Christopher Clark, 61, all of Newark, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to bank fraud and money laundering. The three serve as president, treasurer and vice president of Clark Motor Company in Heath, Ohio.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, and Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.
According to court documents, the brothers would make deposits and take withdrawals from two banks to make it appear as if they had $7.4 million, when in actuality they owed the banks $1 million. From July 2012 until January 2013, the Clarks unlawfully obtained money and property by false pretenses from Century National Bank and Ohio Heritage Bank.
“In January 2013, the brothers cross-deposited 214 non-sufficient checks between their accounts in order to artificially inflate the bank accounts at each respective bank, taking advantage of the float time in the bank system, thereby causing checks that would normally be returned for non-sufficient funds to be paid or honored by the issuing banks,” Financial Crimes Chief Brenda Shoemaker told the court.
The defendants would also enter into financial agreements and received advance money for the purchase of the same vehicles from more than one bank, and in doing so the three laundered more than $10,000 each by selling criminally derived property. For example, Century National Bank loaned the Clarks approximately $120,000 in January 2013 as an advance for the purchase of 5 vehicles. Unbeknownst to Century National Bank, the brothers had already received an advance from another lender to finance the purchase of at least one of those vehicles.
It was discovered that at that time only 5 of the 33 vehicles Century National Bank had financed were still on the lot at Clark Motor Company. Other lenders had already repossessed the other 28 vehicles because they had titles to the vehicles for the financing they provided the used car dealership.
Each brother pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering.
“IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to unraveling complex financial transactions and money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their money," stated Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
Bank fraud is a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $1 million fine. Money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the FBI and IRS, as well as Financial Crimes Chief Brenda Shoemaker, who is representing the United States in this case.