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Valpo attorney charged with $1.6M theft held in contempt in civil suit

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A Porter County lawyer allegedly stole more than $1.6 million from four companies owned by a client he represented for decades, according to criminal charges filed against him.

Meanwhile, the companies that Clark W. Holesinger of Valparaiso represented have filed separate civil tort and malpractice suits against him, and a judge this month held him in direct contempt for failing to appear at a hearing.

Holesinger, 52, was charged Feb. 12 with four counts of Class C felony theft in excess of $100,000. The charges were filed after the companies he represented – ITF LLC, Maridor LLC, North Star Stone Inc., and RBF Island Investment LLC – sued him in Porter Superior Court.

Charging information accuses Holesinger of stealing $817,962 from North Star Stone; $233,410 from RBF; $215,406 from ITF; and $371,736 from Maridor, with the earliest alleged thefts taking place in February 2011. All of the companies are located in Valparaiso and owned by Chris Andrews, according to the probable cause affidavit, which says Holesinger also had been Andrews’ family attorney since the mid-1990s.

Holesinger was the business attorney for North Star Stone, responsible for calculating tax liability and filing returns, among other things. North Star would provide checks on a monthly basis for Holesinger to cover tax liabilities and attorney fees.

But North Star, a maker of manufactured stone and fireplaces, late last year received a notice of levy for unpaid taxes and its business account was frozen. A forensic accountant discovered that for almost two years Holesinger had been cashing checks that North Star wrote to cover sales, payroll and corporate income taxes. Those taxes had gone unpaid, according to the probable cause affidavit.

With respect to the other companies Holesinger represented as a business attorney, he is accused of writing more than 68 unauthorized checks to himself as well as making unauthorized wire transfers.  

The civil tort suit details the numerous checks that were written to pay taxes but instead were allegedly converted to Holesinger’s use, including 97 exhibits of alleged misappropriation. The suit seeks treble damages, attorney fees and accounting costs.

The suit also names a fifth company, MLA LLC, that Holesinger is accused of stealing from while serving as business counsel. He allegedly stole $43,554 from that company by using personal computer transfer debits from the company’s bank account.

Porter Superior Judge William Alexa on Feb. 6 issued an ordered in the civil suit finding Holesinger in direct contempt of court for failing to appear at a Jan. 24 hearing on the plaintiffs’ petition for accounting.

Holesinger’s attorney in the civil action, Patrick Devine of Schererville, did not respond Monday to a message seeking comment. Calls to Holesinger’s law firm on Monday were directed to voice mail, and a message wasn’t immediately returned.

Holesinger was admitted to practice in 1987 and is listed on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys as active in good standing with no prior discipline.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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