Attorney accused of stealing from business clients also faces civil lawsuit over conduct
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent February 19, 2014 3:14PM
Clark Holesinger surrendered to authorities Thursday. He faces felony theft charges. | Provided
Updated: February 20, 2014 2:10AM
VALPARAISO — An attorney accused of stealing more than $1.6 million from a client’s businesses also faces civil charges that will require Indiana Supreme Court attention.
Because Porter County can’t provide a special judge after Porter Superior Judge David Chidester disqualified himself last week, the state’s highest court will decide who presides over the civil lawsuit filed against Clark W. Holesinger, 52, of Valparaiso.
Chidester disqualified himself as special judge on Feb. 11, before the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office filed the four counts of Class C felony theft against Holesinger.
The civil case then returned to Porter Superior Judge William Alexa, the first judge assigned to it after the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit Jan. 17.
Alexa had removed himself from the case after a Jan. 24 hearing when he granted a motion by Holesinger’s attorneys for a “change of venue from the judge” at a Jan. 24 hearing.
Now attorneys for the businesses suing Holesinger — ITF L.L.C., Maridor L.L.C., MLA L.L.C., North Star Stone Inc. and RBF Island Investment L.L.C. — have filed a motion to enforce the order for a change in judge.
The Valparaiso businesses, all owned at least partially by Christopher Andrews, filed the civil suit on Jan. 17 to “recover plaintiffs’ monies that were misappropriated, converted and stolen.”
The criminal case also has switched judges.
Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford recused himself from the criminal case prior to Thursday afternoon, so that case has gone to Chidester’s wife, Porter Superior Court Judge Mary Harper.
The Porter County Sheriff’s Department began the criminal investigation after Andrews filed the civil suit in January.
Andrews told police that when he created North Star Stone Inc. in 2002 to sell manufactured stone for construction and fireplaces, he hired Holesinger at $1,000 a month to calculate, prepare and file tax paperwork for sales tax, payroll withholding, fuel tax and corporate income tax.
Holesinger had worked as his family’s attorney since the 1990s.
But the criminal charging documents allege that from Feb. 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2013, Holesinger kept $817,962 sent to him to be used to pay taxes.
Andrews’ bank notified him Dec. 5, 2013, that Indiana had placed a levy of $232,709 on his business account for delinquent taxes.
After the state debited $129,814 from the account, Andrews hired a forensic accountant who reportedly found Holesinger hadn’t paid the business’s federal or state payroll taxes or state sales taxes since February 2011.
For the businesses ITF, Maridor and RBF Island Investment, Holesinger was responsible for finances and financial records, writing checks and paying bills. He is accused of taking the rest of the money through 70 checks and some wire transfers.
The firm MLA, identified in the civil suit, wasn’t mentioned in the criminal suit.
The civil suit states that Holesinger stole $18,931 in three checks and $254,553 in four wire transfers from that company.
The civil suits also seeks expenses such as overdraft fees and accountant fees from Holesinger.