Douglas Archie Clark, 66, was sentenced in February to three years in prison after pleading guilty to 11 fraud charges. He was given one year of credit for time served, leaving two years in his sentence. He spent almost eight months in prison before his parole hearing last week.
Clark portraying himself as a member of the Canadian military and told victims he was sick with cancer, and that he needed money for the treatments that are not covered by his medical plan. More than a dozen people, including his wife and son, were bilked out of an estimated $1.4 million.
Between 2000 and 2008 Clark told family, friends, acquaintances and business associates that he had cancer and needed cash to fund the treatments. He approached more than 50 victims, including his own son and an 88-year-old woman, and asked for money. He claimed he would pay people back from a special military pension that did not exist.
According to the parole board decision, it was suspected that Clark was using the money to support his lavish lifestyle and gamble. It was also suspected, but not confirmed, that Clark was abusing illicit drugs.
“You demonstrated a total disregard for the law and used your friends, family, acquaintances and business partners for your own personal gain,” the decision states.
Clark’s case management team recommended that day and full parole be denied based on a belief that his risk is not manageable. There were a number of reasons for the recommendation, including the number of victims and the harm Clark caused.
The team believed Clark has limited insight into his offending, has no relapse prevention plan or community support and continues to have grandiose ideas for paying back his victims.
The sentencing judge ordered Clark to pay more than $500,000 in restitution, and Clark’s plan is to start his own business to make money.
Clark did not abide by his bail conditions after his arrest, and his behaviour demonstrated that he has no respect for court orders, sanctions or conditions placed on him, the parole board added.
“It is likely that you would not abide by the conditions of your release,” the decision states.
However, the board also took into account Clark’s lack of criminal history, high reintegration potential, moderate-to-low risk of reoffending, participation in self-directed programming and his efforts to develop community supports.
The board concluded that his risk on day parole was not undue, but denied full parole because Clark has not had the opportunity to demonstrate that he can manage his risk on full parole.
Conditions of Clark’s release include reporting all relationships to his parole supervisor, participating in mental-health treatment to address unresolved emotional issues and develop further insight into risk factors, providing documented financial information to his parole supervisor, no gambling, no alcohol and no drugs.
- Jen Saltman is with The Province