Police: Cedar City man falsely claims he’s being kidnapped to get $1500 ransom

A stock image shows a person getting arrested | Photo by BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — Police said a man’s claim that he was being kidnapped and was going to be killed unless he was sent $1,500 is bogus, so they arrested him Wednesday for felony fraud.

A booking photo shows James Darrell Clark, who was arrested and charged with communications fraud after claiming he was being kidnapped in order to get a woman to send him money, Cedar City, Utah, July 25, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News/Cedar City News

James Darrell Clark, 57, of Cedar City, allegedly contacted his federal fiduciary March 27 with a story about being abducted by people who were requesting the $1,500 ransom in order for him to be released. The fiduciary had been in charge of managing Clark’s finances because he is a military veteran.

Clark continued to text his fiduciary throughout the entire day, claiming he was going to be killed if she didn’t wire the money to him immediately, but he kept pushing the deadline for the ransom back when he wasn’t getting any money sent to him, according to the probable cause statement filed by police in support of the arrest.

“He went on to state that he did not know where he was being taken but that they were driving around, waiting for the ransom to be paid,” the statement reads.

Clark told the woman not to contact police or else his kidnappers would kill him, police said. The woman was never convinced of Clark’s story and never sent him any money. Instead, she called police.

Eventually, Clark allegedly texted his fiduciary to tell her that he was back home and injured with some broken ribs after getting beaten, according to the probable cause statement.

An arrest warrant issued was earlier this month, and Clark was arrested by Cedar City Police on July 25. He was booked into the Iron County Jail and charged with a third-degree felony for communications fraud.

After he was arrested, Clark told police he was never kidnapped or injured, Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack said.

“He admitted to making up the story to try and get money from the plaintiff. He said he was never hurt in any way.”

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.



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  • Carpe Diem July 30, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    He’s gonna need $2000 now for bail…. the po po holdin him for ransom…

  • comments July 30, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    “The fiduciary had been in charge of managing Clark’s finances because he is a military veteran”

    Sounds more like she was managing his finances because he’s not mentally competent–maybe a loon? Why would it have to do with him being a veteran? hmm

  • jaltair July 30, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    When my father was 92, I had to become my father’s Federal Fiduciary to be able to manage his Veteran benifits for his health care. He was blind and unable to hear. My Father had to sign a paper which stated he was “incompetent” to handle his affairs and my mother was in no position to help him. I was their trustee legally, but the Feds didn’t recognize that for Veterans’ Affair purposes. I felt so bad explaining this to dad and mom.

    My thought is regarding this man, he is probably not competent per Federal reasons. The Govt also will put someone under a Representative Payee to manage Social Security benifits. My impression re this man in Cedar is he is under the VA and so … the language. Meaning he’s incompetent. Could be from a mental condition from serving his country, i.e. PTSD. Be easy with comments, please.

  • Mike P July 31, 2018 at 11:28 am

    $1,500 ransom? There’s a low buck kidnapper if I ever saw one. That’s funny

    • comments July 31, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      Well, that’s why we might suspect the guy is senile, or with severe mental issues. I guess they feel they need to charge him with a felony regardless,,,

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