Serial scammer Candace Clark released on electronic monitoring


CHICAGO (CBS) — Accused serial scammer Candace Clark has been released from jail on electronic monitoring as she awaits sentencing.

Just days before her trial had been scheduled to begin, Clark agreed to a plea deal on the six felony charges she had been facing.

Cook County prosecutors confirmed Wednesday that Clark has pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by deception and one count of impersonating a state employee, in exchange for a recommendation that she serves five years in prison. The actual sentence will be up to a Cook County judge.

Jury selection had been set to begin in Clark’s trial on Friday. That trial originally had been set to begin in April but was postponed after both the judge and the prosecutor in the case came down with COVID-19.

More than two years ago, you first heard the name Candace Clark. In January 2020, the CBS 2 Investigators brought you the twisted tale of her deceptions going back decades.

First, we told you about her elaborate productions during which she was sworn in as the Director of Special Investigations for the State of Illinois. In one of those, she was sworn in as a United Nations attaché. CBS 2 confirmed she never held either of those positions. The state position didn’t exist. The ceremonies were phony. The speakers and most of the audience were hired actors. Many involved in the productions told CBS 2 they never got paid.

Our second investigation revealed Clark’s decades-long pattern of living rent-free in houses throughout Chicago and the suburbs. Some were even multi-million-dollar Lincoln Park luxury homes. Several landlords told us stories of how Clark would talk her way into their homes by providing upfront checks that would bounce days later and then she would never pay rent. The landlords had to evict her to get her out. That process could take several months or even years. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) evicted Clark from Fiori Hadera’s Lincoln Park home the day before Clark got arrested.

Prosecutors originally offered Clark a deal to plead guilty to all six counts, and in exchange for a recommended 4 ½ -year sentence recommendation in January, but when she asked for another 60 days to get her affairs in order during a hearing in her case in February, a judge said no, and Clark rejected the deal and asked for a jury trial.

With a plea deal now in place, Clark is set to be formally sentenced on June 15 at 9:30 a.m.

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