Thursday, May 28, 2015

Woodbury attorney accused of stealing $1.8 million from woman’s estate

A Woodbury man is facing federal theft charges after officials say he stole $1.8 million, most of which was slated for charity, from the estate of an Oxford woman.

Peter M. Clark, 57, was arrested Thursday, according to a release from Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and charged with stealing from the estate of Miriam S. Strong, who died July 2, 2010.

At the time of her death, Strong had a will, which left money, property and other items to a list of individuals, the town of Oxford, the state of Connecticut and several religious and other charitable entities, according to the release. The will also called for the creation of a scholarship fund for college-bound students from Oxford.

Clark drafted the will as Strong’s attorney and served as a witness to Strong’s execution of the will, officials said. The will named Clark and another individual as co-executors. The investigation has revealed that, during the course of the administration of the will, Clark took at least $1.8 million from Strong’s estate for his own use.

Clark transferred some of the money to other accounts, used some to buy himself an all-terrain vehicle and gave some money to his wife, according to court documents. The estate account he had taken the money from was left with a meager balance of $13.40 when he had to make a report to the probate court, officials said.

Court documents show that some of the beneficiaries of the will became suspicious when they had not received the money they had been told they would get and contacted the probate court, which in turn removed Clark as an executor while the investigation was under way.

The complaint charges Clark with one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

Clark was arrested Thursday morning at his home in Woodbury, officials said. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven and will be released after he posts a $500,000 bond that will be co-signed by family members.

Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut State Police – Western District Major Crime Squad. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.

Full Article & Source:
Woodbury attorney accused of stealing $1.8 million from woman’s estate


Anonymous said...

Another thieving lawyer!

Karen said...

My mind must be severely twisted....when I read this article and it makes me sick, I that the thought that at least he didn't steal from her when she was alive. Of course he really did because he did the will when she was alive and the theft occurred right then. I must need a rest to even think there was an ounce of kindness in this man.

Felicity said...

I hope when the dust settles, he has to pay restitution to the estate in addition to a jail sentence and community service.

B Inberg said...

When he is convicted, 20 years in a federal cage must be mandatory for Peter M. Clark $1.8 million is a significant amount of money that must be repaid in full. What was he thinking when the balance dropped to $13.40? My cynical mind has to go to Clark's plan A which is the system that he is familiar with how would the missing money be covered up?

Clark did not need this money for necessities he used it for luxuries and to keep the mrs. happy happy. Sociopaths laying in wait for the prey. Bring back the scarlet letter we need to brand these thieves with a black and green $ on the foreheads.