FOX UNDERCOVER - Applause from victims rained on disgraced Cape charity founder Gina Clark as she made her way out of the courthouse Monday and into a waiting prison van after being sentenced to four to five years in prison for stealing from traumatized families her charity was supposed to help.
Clark and her Touched by Angels non-profit solicited families suffering the worst tragedies and offered to raise money for them. But a jury convicted her last Thursday of stealing more than $100,000 of the money raised.
Sue Callow hoped to get money from Touched by Angels' fundraising to help bury her daughter.
"I honestly thought that she was going to swoop in and save the day, and I was going to get a proper burial for my daughter, and the impact has been so much that to this day she's still not buried," Callow said.
Callow and other victims testified at the Barnstable Superior Court sentencing hearing.
Clark found Kim Manchuck after Manchuck's daughter Crystal was hit and killed by a car on the Cape in July 2008. Clark claimed she was at the scene of the crash, but prosecutors said that was a lie.
"Gina came and sat next to me and she put a stone in my hand and she told me to keep it close because she had held it in Crystal's hand. And I cherished it. Until I learned the truth in October that Gina wasn't there," Manchuck said.
When it was her turn to speak, a tearful Clark still insisted she was there the night Crystal died.
"I haven't been able to tell these people that I was with her. Honestly and truly I was with their daughter when she was dying. And I need them to finally know this. I truly do. I swear to God I was there," Clark said.
Manchuck said she was shocked to hear Clark's testimony in court.
"We all know she wasn't there. So for her again, where it's already been proven you didn't hold my girl, why would you continue at this point?" she said.
Clark also maintained her innocence at her sentencing hearing, repeating what she told FOX Undercover in a 2010 interview.
"I've done nothing wrong, but pour my whole heart and soul in here," she told FOX Undercover.
"I put my heart and soul into this," she told the court Monday.
But her testimony didn't do much to sway the judge, who exceeded sentencing guidelines which called for a one to three-year sentence for her convictions on larceny, fraud and other charges.
In addition to her prison sentence, Clark must pay more than $14,000 in fines and was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims' families. There will be a hearing on the restitution in June.
Even her wearing of rosary beads infuriated some in the courtroom.
"And then the audacity that she's wearing a cross around her neck. The rosary beads? She's the angel of hell," said Mary Beth Manchuck, Crystal's aunt.
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