Porter County attorney accused of stealing $1.6 million from client
BY ERIN GUERRA Post-Tribune correspondent February 13, 2014 8:20PM
Clark Holesinger surrendered to authorities Thursday. He faces felony theft charges. | Provided
Updated: February 14, 2014 2:02AM
VALPARAISO — Accused of stealing $1,638,516 from a client, local attorney Clark W. Holesinger turned himself in at Porter County Jail on Thursday and was released on a $15,000 cash bond.
An arrest warrant for Holesinger on four counts of Class C felony theft had been issued Wednesday in Porter Superior Court. Holesinger has a law office near South Haven.
According to affidavits filed in Porter Superior Court by Porter County Sheriff’s Department detective Jim Biggs, his investigation into Holesinger began last month when he learned a local businessman and client of Holesinger had filed a civil suit against the lawyer.
That client, Christopher Andrews, reportedly told Biggs that Holesinger had served as his family’s attorney since the mid-1990s. In 2002, when Andrews started North Star Stone Inc., which sells manufactured stone for construction and fireplaces from a Washington Township location, he hired Holesinger and granted him power of attorney. For $1,000 a month, Holesinger was responsible for calculating the business’s tax liability: preparing and filing tax returns, sales tax, payroll withholdings, fuel tax and corporate income tax.
When Holesinger notified the business of the tax amount, Biggs said, he would be sent a check for the taxes due, plus attorney fees. Between Feb. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2013, however, Holesinger allegedly kept $817,962 sent to him intended to pay taxes.
Holesinger was given an even larger role for three businesses Andrews opened later; he was responsible for managing the money and financial records for each, including writing checks, balancing checkbooks and paying bills. Instead, Holeslinger is accused of endorsing more than 70 checks from the three businesses and either cashing them or depositing the money to himself, according to a forensic accountant hired by Andrews. The lawyer also allegedly wire-transferred company funds to himself.
Holesinger allegedly kept $233,410 from RBI Island Investment, between March 25, 2011, and Aug. 20, 2013; $215,406 from IFT between June 21, 2013; and Dec. 10, 2013; and $371,736 from Meridor between Aug. 19, 2013, and Dec. 10, 2013.
According to court documents, Andrews received a letter from his bank on Dec. 5, 2013, notifying him that a levy of $232,709 had been placed on his business account for delinquent state taxes, and the state soon debited $129,814 from the account. Andrews removed Holesinger from all his business accounts and hired a forensic accountant, who reportedly found the attorney had not been paying the business’ federal or state payroll taxes or Indiana sales taxes from February 2011 to December 2013.
Since the discovery, Biggs said, Holesinger obtained funds from family members to make partial restitution.
No initial hearing date has been set, said Porter County Prosecutor Brian Gensel.
Judge Roger Bradford was randomly assigned the case but recused himself. It was reassigned to Judge Mary Harper.
A reporter’s calls to Holesinger’s law office went to voice mail. A message requesting comment on the allegations was not returned.
Holesinger’s office’s Web site states he is a 1987 graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law.