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.
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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