BOSTON (CBS) — Gina Clark and her charity Touched by Angels were supposed to help families in need but WBZ-TV’s I-Team investigation found she took advantage of those families and stole thousand of dollars that were donated on their behalf.
The investigation alleging fraud prompted an investigation by Attorney General Martha Coakley, and now a grand jury has handed up dozens of charges against the Cape Cod woman.
Coakley says, “In some ways this is a double victimization.”
WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports.
Coakley alleges the self-proclaimed angel would tell families she would help raise money, people would donate and little if any of the money involved ever made it to those families.
“These families were targeted by this defendant and sought her help after going through truly traumatic circumstances, either losing a family member or dealing with serious medical conditions,” said Coakley.
The I-Team investigation exposed how Clark preyed on families during their most vulnerable times. 16-year-old Steven Brown lost his life-long battle with mitochondrial disease in 2008. His dad, Jeff, says he was taken aback when Clark showed up at Steven’s wake offering help.
The family needed money to help pay for Steven’s funeral, but Jeff Brown says Gina Clark did more harm than good.
“It’s a shame that she had to take advantage of people donating money to help us and to help the other families, and she was selfish enough to think the money was just for her,” he said.
Gina Clark and her now defunct charity face the following charges:
- Larceny by Embezzlement over $250 (15 counts)
- Larceny by Embezzlement under $250
- Gross Fraud
- Illegal Lottery Scheme
- Minimum Wage Violations (10 counts)
- Overtime Law Violations (2 counts)
- Failure to Provide Proper Paystub
- Independent Contractor Violations