Metro

Cape Cod charity founder found guilty in scam

The founder of a Cape Cod charity was found guilty Thursday of stealing tens of thousands of dollars meant for struggling families, prosecutors said.

A Barnstable Superior Court jury convicted Gina Clark, 42, of Marstons Mills, and her charity, Touched by Angels, of 52 counts related to the scheme, according to the attorney general. Touched by Angels is a nonprofit that claimed to take donations on behalf of families who had lost loved ones or were struggling to pay overwhelming medical bills.

Clark was convicted on 15 counts of larceny by embezzlement, eight counts of minimum wage violations, and other fraud and labor violation charges, the attorney general’s office said.

Advertisement

The jury found that from 2007 to 2010, Clark and her charity promised to raise money for struggling families, but withheld most of the donations after claiming that only checks or online donations that specifically referred to a family would be passed on, Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a statement.

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

“This defendant victimized vulnerable families who sought her help after going through truly traumatic circumstances,” Coakley said. “Instead of providing these victims financial support, this defendant kept the money for herself, stealing tens of thousands of dollars from families in need.”

Touched by Angels was found guilty on the same labor violations as Clark, plus 12 counts of larceny by embezzlement over $250, and gross fraud, Coakley said.

In some instances, Touched by Angels raised thousands of dollars for families through donations, auctions, raffles, and the sale of merchandise, but the families only received $50 to $200, the statement said.

Clark would solicit merchandise from businesses, ostensibly to auction for the benefit of a family, and then keep the items for herself, Coakley said.

Advertisement

The jury found that Clark lied about the status of many of the charity’s employees — listing them as independent contractors in order to avoid paying some of their wages and overtime, the statement said.

Clark is scheduled to return to court for sentencing May 6.

Todd Feathers can be reached at todd.feathers@globe.com.