"That sends out the wrong message, not only to the victims of this case but to society as a whole," he said. Oftedal, however, agreed with defense attorney Jason Dalley there was legal justification to impose a sentence
below the mandatory minimum term of nearly 10 years.
In December, Clarke pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering, 72 counts of grand theft and three counts of petit theft. The scam had 75 victims and losses of more than $103,000 over a period of a year,
Assistant State Attorney Sam Stern said.
The victims were individuals who previously lost money to firms masquerading as timeshare resale businesses, according to court records. These victims were approached by callers from Clarke's operation — DeltaCorp and
G. William Clarke, P.A. — and told they could get restitution checks from the Florida Attorney General's Office, in exchange for hundreds of dollars in fees payable to Clarke's companies.
"The conduct is absolutely vicious," Stern said. "It does target the most vulnerable among us, seniors who live on fixed incomes."