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Candidate of serial fraud Candas Clark’s trial postponed after prosecutor and judge fall ill with COVID-19

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County Judge on Monday adjourned the trial of accused serial fraudster Candas Clark for nearly two months after a judge and prosecutor in the case fell ill with COVID-19.

The selection of the jury was supposed to begin on Monday, but the judge in the case announced that it was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances.” A source in the court building confirmed that both the judge and the prosecutor in the case became infected with COVID-19, which led to the delay.

Now the trial will begin on June 3.

More than two years ago you first heard the name Candice Clark. In January 2020, CBS 2 investigators brought you a twisted story about her deception that has been going on for decades; rent luxury homes and never pay rent, and pretending to be a high-ranking state employee among them.

Chicago police arrested her shortly after our reports aired.

She faces six criminal offenses: one for betraying a civil servant and five for theft by deception.

The most serious allegations include Clark’s use of forged documents to rent luxury homes in Lincoln Park and never paid rent – more than $ 80,000.

The Cook County Attorney’s Office suggested a deal for Clark to plead guilty on all six counts and be sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison, but when she asked for another 60 days to put her case in order during a hearing on her case in February, the judge said no, and Clark rejected the deal and asked the jury.

The allegations against Clark are related to complaints that have taken place in the last few years, but CBS 2 investigators have discovered victims and fraud that began more than 20 years ago.

When she was present Percy Julian High, Clark told classmates that in 1987 she was crowned Miss Tin Illinois. CBS 2 investigators exposed this lie and revealed the truth. The real winner was Daniel Reese.

In the early 2000s, Clark pretended to be a public adviser accused of betraying young mothers. When Clark pretended to be a real estate agent, she won the trust of a retiree Darlene Simmonsand eventually deceived her out of thousands.

“She’s the devil,” Simmons said.

Clark’s most difficult imagination was when she pretended to be a civil servant. She staged six fake ceremonies, hired 50 actors, musicians, singers and charged $ 20,000 in expenses and stunned everyone.

Jamie Newell prepared for Clark challenging events and hired actors. Newell handed us a video of the ceremonies after she said Clark cheated on her and everyone else. One of the victims wrote a statement to the police.

Then there were housing scams. Our investigation revealed that Clark was a serial squatter. end up cheating landlords with more than $ 200,000 in total.

We saw Clark turn up with the keys to several houses from something we found in the house from which she was evicted many years ago. She left behind a lot of documents and even printed out a certificate and pasted her name on her email address.

These were not the only forged documents we found during the investigation. After Clark was evicted from her last luxury home, we found the printer she had left. There were also counterfeit Bank of America checks – each with the same check number.

Two landlords, who took thousands, complained to the authorities about receiving fake checks. They showed us stamped checks dating back years, but both had the same check number.

“I was a newcomer, she was a professional,” said one owner, who asked to remain anonymous.

Tucker of CBS 2 asked Clark’s lawyer David Druenke if he was surprised that his client had dropped the plea deal.

“No,” said Drvenke. “Based on the conversations we had, it all depends on her.”

Tucker also asked Clark again why she withdrew the plea agreement. She replied that she had done nothing wrong, and said, “I will fight it to the end.”

The most serious charges against Clark include a minimum of up to three years in prison and a maximum of seven years in prison.

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