Gina Clark Trial - Day 13: Extensive bank record evidence

Large shortage in amounts given to families
Aerial view of Gina and Chris Clark's $710,000 house at 31 Acadia Drive, Marstons Mills. Image: Google maps

Friday. April 26th was day 13 of the trial of Gina Clark, former President/CEO of defunct Marstons Mills-based charity Touched By Angels, along with the charity itself.  The first and only witness of the day was Amy Goyer, Chief of Investigations for the Fair Labor Division of the Attorney General's office.

Goyer's testimony was heavily based on documentary evidence, specifically spreadsheets that she and her investigative team compiled while investigating Touched By Angels. The first section of her testimony concerned the bank account records of Touched By Angels and Gina Clark. According to Goyer, Citizens Bank, TD Bank, and Bank of America were all used in connection to the case. Two accounts were held at Citizens Bank, one corporate (for TBA) and one personal, for Gina Clark. Her testimony regarding the bank records only concerned the accounts in Citizens Bank.

Goyer, as well as the investigators working with her, took all the information regarding the accounts (given in the form of bank statements, deposit slips, signature cards, copies of withdrawals and deposits, etc.) and created a spreadsheet itemizing the account transactions.

Cross-examination by Clark's attorney Joan M. Fund regarding the admissibility of a copy of this spreadsheet into evidence focused on the fact that Goyer did not review the ledger of the book-keeper used by TBA. Fund also called attention to the fact that some information was included in the “notes” section of the spreadsheet (annotations on deposit slip, check memos, etc.) that was not on the memo line. Goyer said that all notations included were taken directly from the bank records provided. She also clarified that no specific transactions were omitted, and said that she had been through “99 percent of it, if not all.”

Goyer and her team's investigation did not stop at Citizens Bank records. They reviewed budget slips, receipts, notes, telephone logs, and contracts that families signed, among others.

More trial coverage and complete archive of Touched by Angels articles, plus slideshow.

Contracts were a subject of intense questioning. During direct examination by Assistant Attorney General Karla Zarbo, Goyer stated that the contracts she and her team examined initially had “very limited” terms, but, in time, they became longer with more terms. For example, the Roche, Long, and Callow families, according to Goyer, had no percentage they could expcet to receive included in their respective contracts. However, Goyer said, every family had a “family folder,” in which they found documentation to show how the funds were allocated to these families. Specifically, the Roche family was 60 percent to the family, 40 percent TBA, and the Long and Callow families were both 80 percent to the family and 20 percent to TBA. Goyer said that specific mention of a percentage split of proceeds began to occur with the Lee family, with the same 80/20 percentage split as discovered for the Long and Callow families. The contracts were identical for the Bass-Downing, Haley, Bennett, Scott, and Finn families. The Manchuk family, she said, had two contracts (brought up by Kim Manchuk in her testimony), the first of which was identical to the other families, and the second of which had additional language that would deduct expenses for food before the 80/20 split. The Dyer and Morrissey family contracts added that hall decorations, in addition to food, would be subtracted from the amount to be split, while the Brown and Blackington family contracts were identical to that of Kim Manchuk's second contract, which stated that only food would be taken out of the amount. An addendum to this contract stated that, since Brown and Blackington families shared a benefit, Goyer said, each family would receive 40 percent of the proceeds. Since the Harnois and Lemon families did not have a written contract, Goyer and the other investigators went through TBA records to find out how the funds were split (it was determined to be an 80/20 split).

They also reviewed family folders (which, according to Goyer, contained budget forms, receipts, stories of the families, lists of people to invite to the benefit, and other miscellany), flyers put up by TBA to advertise the family of the month, and records from vendors and businesspeople.

The investigative team also attempted to discern the precise amount of money TBA distributed on behalf of the families, as they did not give money directly to the families themselves. Goyer said that mainly the organization paid bills directly, while there were checks to a couple of relatives that had paid bills on behalf of TBA's sponsored families. They got this information through TBA records, which included the payments that went out. They then went into Citizens Bank records to verify that the checks were cashed.

Along the same line, the team went into TBA records to attempt to find out what expenses TBA paid, only for those families who had specific expenses that would be deducted before they could receive their share listed on the contract. They would verify checks through bank records and, if it was a cash expense, look for receipt in TBA's records. They prepared a spreadsheet of the expenses, including the name of the family, dollar amounts, check numbers, payee, date of checks, and information listed on the memo line or on receipt. The only expense Goyer mentioned that a payment was not verified was a check to Dino's Sports Bar for the Morrissey family for $500, which, as per review of Citizens Bank records, was never cashed.

Goyer also testified for an extensive period of time about deposit slips for Citizens Bank into the TBA account that she and her team reviewed, specifically, the dates the money was deposited, the amount of each transaction, and the memo line/notations included. She listed the deposits for January, February, April, May, July, and November 2008, which varied considerably. January had the highest deposit amount, at $6,315, while May had the least, with one $940 deposit. Goyer identified almost all the notations as being Clark's handwriting, many of which included the phrase “my money.” Some specified partial amounts that were “my money.” One, dated Jan. 11, 2008, stated “my money donated.”

Goyer and her team also made separate spreadsheets for TBA's PayPal account deposit records and a summary of TBA's income records, determined through benefit cover sheets, and “daily table intake forms.” They then took the information from Citizens Bank and PayPal and created “family spreadsheets,” or a spreadsheet for each family that detailed deposits associated with them, not including merchandise sales. On the spreadsheets, they deducted expenditures and the amount of money paid by TBA on behalf of each family. The bottom entry on the Roche family spreadsheet included a PayPal total (that is, all the money that came through PayPal in the Roche's sponsored month). The money from PayPal was transferred to Citizens in some cases, but there was money left over at the end of the period, said Goyer.

The original total for the Roche family was $7, 178. The contract did not specify a percentage, but Goyer and her team went through TBA records and identified what they believe is a supposed 60/40 split. The difference between the amount the Roche's received and what Goyer said was the original number is $2,912.20

For each family spreadsheet the prosecution had time to present, Goyer and her team did alternate calculations, which included donations through the fifteenth of the next month following in the total calculation of donations raised. For the Roche family, the difference was found to be $5,117.20, according to the investigators.

Fund's cross-examination of the Roche, Long, and Callow spreadsheets concentrated on the fact that many donations evidently did not come with memos/notations that specifically identified the money as designated to the family of the month, and thus, she said, it could be a donation to enable the organization itself to run. She also stressed the fact that, according to Goyer, while making these family spreadsheets that were discussed today, she did not add up all the donations that were specific to the family only, or compare that number with TBA's calculations of what should go to the families in question.

During cross-examination regarding the Callow family spreadsheet, Goyer agreed that TBA's figures as to what the family would receive was “a lot smaller.” Fund also said that Goyer “interpreted” the contracts--specifically, she pointed out that, in the case of the Callow family, the contract does not contain specific wording, but Goyer came up with an 80/20 split on proceeds for that family. Fund also said that there was a check listed for “earrings/pin” on the memo line, even though it is for merchandise, which is supposedly not included in the spreadsheet.

Wednesday, May 1, the trial is held only until 12 p.m., and Friday, May 3, it will not be held. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on