A Sun Prairie man was sentenced to prison for theft and fraud after a December 2016 arrest for doing illegal auto body work.
Richard M. Clark, 43, was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of extended supervision during a sentencing hearing Tuesday in which he entered pleas of no contest to one count of theft in a business setting in an amount over $10,000 and fraudulent writing by a corporate officer.
Clark was arrested after the Columbus Police Department received a call from the city’s Napleton Chevrolet Buick dealership, where the president had accused Clark of stealing from the company. At the shop, Clark oversaw repair orders, estimates, parts orders, supplies and billing hours. Following a change in company ownership, the company president told officers, irregularities appeared in documents. That led to further investigation of Clark’s work and the discovery of a Craig’s List advertisement, posted by Clark, advertising discount services at the shop.
The company losses were estimated at just over $13,000 and $2,600 worth of missing tools.
On Feb. 28, Clark made an initial appearance in court from the Columbia County Jail with Judge W. Andrew Voigt ordering the defendant to be held on $25,000 cash bond, which was reduced at the end of April to $15,000, though not posted.
A final restitution amount is to be determined in the next 90 days, with conditions of his eventual release being that he maintain employment or education, complete counseling and not to use the Internet to solicit or advertise business.
Clark had been previously placed on probation in North Carolina following convictions for felony obtaining property by false pretenses in 2009 and again in 2012.