Serial scammer Candace Clark sentenced to five years in prison


CHICAGO (CBS) — Following a series of investigations by CBS 2, serial scammer Candace Clark  was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday.

Prosecutors had recommended the five-year sentence, telling the court, Clark has “an unwavering commitment to fraud the community to obtain what she wants.”

Before the sentence was handed down, Clark apologized for her actions in most of the cases, except for one.  She did not specify which case she meant. 

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

Jury selection had been set to begin in Clark’s trial before the plea agreement 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.

Between 2008 and early 2020, the CBS 2 Investigators pieced together 24 cases where landlords accused Clark of skipping out on rent, owing them some $300,000 in lost rent and repairs for damage left behind.

Chicago Police arrested Clark shortly after our reports aired.

The most serious charges involve Clark using forged documents to rent those luxury homes in Lincoln Park and never paying any rent – more than $80,000.

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