Paving Scammer Tommy Clack Gets Two Years in Jail
Convicted paving scam artist Tommy Clack has swindled his last senior citizen for a while. During his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul Hackner called Clack an “unrepentant crook,” and sentenced him to two years in jail starting “now.”
The length of the sentence wasn’t enough for some of Clack’s victims, who came to the courthouse on Thursday to hear what Clack’s penalty would be and to learn about restitution money due to them. At the sentencing, Judge Hackner dutifully informed them that they probably will never see the money, although he did include restitution in the sentencing.
The hearing began with Anne Arundel County Assistant State’s Attorney Marot Hoskins reading aloud allegations and convictions against Clack in other jurisdictions including South and North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, showcasing Clack’s methodology in his “leftover asphalt” paving scheme.
Clack first came on the radar in Anne Arundel County in April of 2011, when he scammed a Davidsonville homeowner. He told her that paving her driveway with leftover asphalt would run about $400. The homeowner went out and when she returned found Clack’s crew working away, although she did not believe that she had agreed to the job. Clack returned with an invoice for $61,000. Had the job been done by a licensed contractor, it would’ve cost about $6,000.
The Prosecution’s Case
Hoskins told Judge Hackner that despite being banned from work in North Carolina, Clack continued running the paving scheme, bypassing restitution, as well as civil contempt and numerous criminal complaints.
She told the judge that in addition to the paving work, Clack was also accused of taking a recreational vehicle from a homeowner worth over $30,000, allegedly in lieu of payment. Hoskins said that a hardworking investigator tracked down the RV and found it full of things for a trip, but no cash.
She said that Clack was also charged with taking $25,000 in audio equipment from a North Carolina moving company.
Hoskins said that in the 12 weeks between his plea hearing and Thursday’s sentencing, Clack swindled more than $170,000 from victims in North and South Carolina.
US Marshals returned Clack to Maryland on a fugitive warrant in late June. He has been in custody since then.
Hoskins said that a Cease and Desist order was issued from the Maryland Attorney General’s office June 18, which included nearly $500,000 in restitution for victims and penalties to the state.
Hoskins then turned to victims. Sandra Parks of Lothian, told the judge that Clack has shaken her faith in her fellow human beings.
“I used to do business on a handshake, and I won’t ever do that again because of Mr. Clack’s scheme of fraud. He keeps walking away and walking away. Please take away his dancing shoes,” she said to the judge.
The Defense Responds
Clack’s lawyer Creighton Chase got his turn and said that although his client would never admit to fraud, he would admit to getting in “over his head” and admitting that “he went too far.”
Chase went on to say that Clack did not have the restitution money as promised. He said Clack intends to pay the victims back eventually.
Chase said that because Clack was returned to Maryland in custody that he would like to see some of the sentence shortened for time served.
“His reputation has been destroyed, and it will take him a long time to get that back,” Chase said.
When it was Clack’s turn, he slowly got up from his chair. Standing in the gray jailhouse uniform, he talked with his head down and his hands behind his back.
“A lot of things the victims said is 100 percent true. I didn’t get a license and I did wrong. But each and every person paid me. [I] done a very good job,” he said.
He then looked to the victims in the courtroom, “I have three children, twin boys, five, a three-year-old daughter and a couple of teenagers… I feel very bad, and I am sorry to each and every one of you. We have nothing left,” he said, and sat back down in his seat.
Judge Hackner Orders Clack to Jail
When it was time for the judge to make a decision about the sentence he would assign to Clack, he started off by saying that in his 15 years as a judge, he has never seen a more pathological swindler.
“You are an unrepentant crook. You’re not a drug addict. You’re just a rotten crook. I don’t know how else to put it,” the judge said.
Hackner then said he felt pretty sure the victims would not be paid the ordered restitution, calling it a “vain hope.”
He said that when Clack gets out of jail, he hopes that if anyone allows him to work, which they’d be “an idiot to do,” that it will allow Clack to pay back his victims.
“Hope springs eternal,” he said, and then ordered Clack to two years in Maryland Division of Corrections, beginning today (Thursday, June 18).
In order that Clack can be supervised for some time to pay restitution, Judge Hackner ordered Clack to five months probation during which time he will have to pay $63,132 restitution, calculated across the 20 weeks. The jail and probation period satisfied the maximum sentence allowed for Clack’s behavior.
During the period of his probation, Clack may not leave the state of Maryland and must check in weekly. Clack may not contact victims and can no longer work without a license.
“And trust me, you will never get that license,” Judge Hackner said.
Victims Sandra and Joe Parks said they weren’t satisfied. “We’ll never really get satisfaction, Joe Parks said.
Russell Gibson of Lothian was another victim who attended the hearing. Gibson said he hopes to get $7,000 in restitution.
When Clack finishes his sentence in Maryland, he’s still got pending trials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. He also has outstanding cases in Prince Georges, Baltimore, Howard and Queen Anne counties in Maryland.
- Paver Tommy Clack is Back in Maryland… and in Custody (southriversource.com)
- Driveway Paving Scammer Now Owes Marylanders $500,000 (southriversource.com)
- Tommy Clack Trial for Scamming Seniors Starts Monday in South Carolina (southriversource.com)
- Contractor involved in paving scam faces sentencing (wbaltv.com)
- Paver Who Scammed South County Seniors Not Sentenced as Scheduled (southriversource.com)
- Tommy Clack accused of scamming residents (wjla.com)