Reporting Beth Germano
BARNSTABLE (CBS) - The founder of a Cape Cod charity has been found guilty of stealing tens of thousands of dollars for herself.
People donated thousands to help the families whose loved ones had died or were ill but those families say they saw very little in return and accuse Gina Clark of profiting from their pain.
On Thursday, Clark was found guilty on 52 counts, including fair labor violations and for operating an illegal lottery scheme.
The counts included Larceny by Embezzlement over $250, Gross Fraud, Illegal Lottery Scheme, Minimum Wage Violations, Overtime Law Violations, Failure to Provide Proper Paystub, and Independent Contractor Violations.
From October 2007 through August 2010 her charity solicited funds for the families by setting up tables in front of local businesses, holding fundraisers, selling merchandise or offering numerous prizes through auctions and raffles. An investigation revealed the families only received a small portion of the thousands of dollars in proceeds raised on their behalf, in some cases as little as $50 to $200.
“This defendant victimized vulnerable families who sought her help after going through truly traumatic circumstances. Instead of providing these victims financial support, this defendant kept the money for herself, stealing tens of thousands of dollars from families in need,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement.
Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 6 at 9:30 a.m. in Barnstable Superior Court.
WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report.