Jan 14, 2021 – President Donald Trump has commuted the 40-year sentence of Fred Davis “Dave” Clark Jr., who was convicted in 2015 of helping run a $300 million Ponzi scheme through the Florida Keys-based company Cay Clubs Resort and Marinas.
(CMR) President Donald Trump commuted the 40-year sentence of Cashwiz Pawn Shop founder Fred Davis “Dave” Clark Jr. who was convicted in 2015 of helping run a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme through his Florida Keys company, Cay Clubs Resort and Marinas.
In January issued a commutation after he was handed the 40-year sentence in 2016 by a federal judge for his role in the Cay Clubs Resort and Marina case where he served as CEO for the company that promised to turn dilaptated properties in Florida, Las Vegas and the Caribbean into Luxury Properties. He had raised over $300 million from some 1,400 investors promising them rental income and a leaseback of 20% of the sale price.
A number of his partners including his wife was charged by the authorities with some receiving jail sentences.
He was also ordered to pay $179 million in restitution. One of his victims and Trump supporter, Kimball Pugmire, shared that he was shocked and disappointed at the former president's decision after he lost his life savings by purchasing several condos. He shared with the Tampa Bay Times that:
“I thought well he will probably die in prison and he deserved it … “I was thinking that's justice because now he can sit there the rest of his life contemplating what he's done to other people.”
The U.S. Department of Justice proved that it was just a Ponzi scheme with sales proceeds from new investors being used older investors. Whilst investors lost their savings, Clark lived a lavish lifestyle including spending $22 million on a gold mine and rum distillery.
As things heated up in the United States Clark Jr. moved to the Cayman Islands and opened Cashwiz Cayman and across the Caribbean before selling off the company and fleeing in 2013 to Roatan, Honduras “upon his belief that the Securities Exchange Commission could reach his assets in the Caymans,” the judge wrote.
The US DOJ engaged in an elaborate scheme to have him extradited from Panama after he traveled there on a business trip and his family expelled from Roatan, Honduras.
The Cashwiz corporate company was plagued with a number of takeovers and management changes throughout the years which included a stint in the Cayman Islands Special Economic Zone before eventually moving to Orlando, Florida.
Trump's January 13 commutation stated that:
“The ends of justice do not require (Clark) to remain confined until his currently projected release date of August 14, 2048 and the safety of the community will not be compromised if he is released.”
One of his business partners, David Schwarz who was also sentenced to 40 years in 2017 for his role in the scheme did not have his sentence commuted.
The New York Times claimed that Trump made a mad dash to issue pardons by having his allies “collecting fees from wealthy felons or their associates to push the White House for clemency”.
Clark will live in Orlando where Cashwiz has rebranded itself and is now headquartered under supervised release according to the Department of Justice. His son-in-law now operates the business there.
The 64-year-old has a daughter and several grandchildren in the Cayman Islands.