Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Two years in jail. That’s the sentence handed down Wednesday to an Annapolis man who scammed homeowners in Anne Arundel County out of thousands of dollars in a home improvement scheme.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the verdict and the money he has to pay back.
This case revolves around Thomas Edward Clack, who pleaded guilty back in March for doing thousands of dollars in contract work without a Maryland license. Now he’ll pay with time in jail and money out of his pocket.
After being called a shameless swindler and pathological liar by the judge, Clack was sentenced to two years in jail for his role in a paying scam that cost some homeowners like James and Sandra Park nearly $22,000.
“We were sitting on our couch when he gave us the amount and I said that cannot be,” Sandra Park said.
Anne Arundel County police say for several weeks, Clack targeted unsuspected homeowners like the Parks, promising to pave their driveways for a fair amount.
“He comes back with a crew, he performs the work but charges a substantial amount more money than what he initially discussed with the victims,” said a police official.
Clack pleaded guilty in March to charges of acting as a contractor without a license and selling home improvements without a license. He was supposed to be sentenced in May but that was postponed so he could raise funds to pay his restitution. He never paid and Wednesday homeowners again walked away empty-handed.
“You can’t get blood out of stone. If the guy doesn’t have money, he doesn’t have money,” said Myron Kandra.
Despite his guilty plea in Maryland, prosecutors say Clack continued more illegal paving in other states. They argue he earned $170,000, well over the $63,000 he owes in restitution.
In the courtroom, Clack turned and apologized to his victims, but they weren’t buying it.
“Don’t mean a damn thing,” said James Park.
After serving his two years, the judge ordered Clack to be on probation for five years and pay the rest of his restitution. The victims say they don’t expect to see a dime.
“I have little faith in that,” Sandra Park said.
Clack faces additional charges for similar crimes in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as in Prince George’s and Queen Anne’s counties.
In court, Clack admitted to overcharging his clients.