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Judge orders monitoring, curfew for former Lighthouse Inn owner

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published September 06. 2012 6:00PM   Updated September 07. 2012 12:11AM

A federal judge has ordered that former Lighthouse Inn owner Maureen Clark, who is free on a $600,000 bond while awaiting sentencing for wire fraud and money laundering, be tracked by GPS and electronic monitoring and abide by a curfew that prevents her from leaving home between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.

A federal jury in July convicted Clark, 58, of Stonington, of fraudulently obtaining more than $1.7 million in a scheme to build a resort and casino in Lakeshore, Miss. She faces decades in prison when she is sentenced in October or November, but is appealing her conviction.

U.S. Judge Warren W. Eginton imposed the new bond convictions Thursday at the request of federal prosecutors Michael S. McGarry and Richard J. Schecter. The government attorneys claim that Clark poses a flight risk and an economic risk to the community. They also claimed that she committed perjury when she testified at her trial and submitted a fraudulent document as evidence. In a bond motion filed days after her conviction, they had requested that the Judge revoke the bond entirely or order the monitoring and curfews.

Clark's attorneys, Hubert J. Santos and Jessica M. Santos, could not immediately be reached for comment. In a response to the government's motion to revoke or modify Clark's bond, they had argued that Clark, who was arrested on November 29, 2010, has been free since December 2, 2010, without a problem and has no incentive to flee since she is seeking vindication.

Clark initially had a curfew and was monitored electronically, but the conditions were eliminated with the approval of her probation officer, according to her attorneys. The attorneys argue she is not a financial threat because she is not allowed to engage in transactions in excess of $100 or access banking, investment, wire transfer or financial services. Her ability to travel is restricted to Connecticut and Rhode Island.

At the trial, a jury in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport deliberated for less than two days before finding Clark guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 13 counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. The jury found her not guilty of one count of wire fraud.

According to the government, Clark and her business partner, Christopher Plummer, held themselves out as authorized members of New England Resorts LLC and falsely represented to investors that they owned or controlled hundreds of acres of land in a Mississippi town. They said they had invested several hundred millions of their own and would be building a 2-million-square-foot resort with a casino, hotels, condominiums and a medical facility.

In soliciting funds for the project, Clark and Plummer falsely represented that major Wall Street firms had committed to the project, according to the government. The government calculated Clark spent $900,000 of the investor funds on the financially troubled Lighthouse Inn, a New London restaurant and hotel that has since been foreclosed.

Plummer, who was also charged, pleaded guilty and is in federal custody while awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 4.

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