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.