Pitt Meadows fraudster gets two years in prison
A 65-year-old man who bilked more than 40 people, including his family, for almost $2 million dollars will spend two more years in prison.
Douglas Archie Clark was handed the sentence Wednesday in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court on the second day of his trial after entering guilty pleas to 11 counts of fraud, admitting to scamming 11 victims.
Clark faced a total of 22 fraud charges and one count impersonating a peace officer. The remaining charges were stayed.
The former Pitt Meadows resident portrayed himself as a member of the Canadian military, often indicating he was either currently employed or retired from the navy.
Clark sometimes wore a military uniform.
Ridge Meadows RCMP's serious crime unit began investigating Clark four years ago and believe he defrauded more than 40 people for about $2 million, although charges were only approved for 22.
Some complaints date back to the 1980s.
Marjorie Lovatt was set to testify Wednesday afternoon but received a phone call advising her that Clark had pleaded guilty.
"I think he knew that as soon as I went in, his goose was cooked," said Lovatt, who sold Aunt Margie’s Fudge at the PNE for 55 years.
"I was all ready to testify."
Over two years, the 89-year-old Lovatt lent Clark $250,000, wiping out her life savings and eventually dipping into her pension.
Clark, who she has known for 30 years, told her he needed the cash to pay for experimental treatments in the U.S. to fight cancer. Each treatment cost $3,000, he told her. He always promised he’d return the money, but had a tale of hard luck when it came time to pay back the cash.
"I was brainwashed," said Lovatt.
Even after I knew he had ripped me off, I still had a hard time believing he was not going to repay the money, she added.
Clark even asked Lovatt to pay for his wife's funeral and cremation. She later learned his wife was still alive.
Lovatt, whose husband died four years ago, now lives in a trailer on the property where they built their home. As debts mount and collection agencies circle, Lovatt has been slowly selling everything she owns to survive. She might have to declare bankruptcy.
"I am doing a lot better now," said Lovatt, noting she's finally put on a few pounds of weight.
"I'm trying to get someone to help me sort everything out."
A joint submission from both defence and Crown requested a three-year prison term for Clark. He was given double time credit for six months he has already spent in custody and will spend an additional two years in jail.
He was also ordered to pay restitution which amounts to $532,061.