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Man gets three years in credit card, probation cases

April 16, 2010|By DON AINES

HAGERSTOWN -- A Hagerstown man was sentenced Thursday by three judges in Washington County Circuit Court to three years and one day in prison for his role in a credit card theft scheme and two instances of probation violations.

Michael Shawn Clark, 44, of 141 King St., pleaded guilty before Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer to a misdemeanor charge of theft scheme less than $500. In exchange for the plea, charges of use or disclosure of credit card numbers and fraud by personal identification information theft were dismissed.

Dwyer sentenced Clark to one year and one day in prison.

Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III then sentenced Clark to a concurrent sentence of one year in prison for violating probation on a 2008 conviction for altering a drug or alcohol test.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell then sentenced Clark to two years in prison for violating probation on a 1997 armed robbery conviction. McDowell's sentence was made consecutive to the one year and one day sentence imposed by Dwyer.

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Clark was working at a Hagerstown motel on May 14, 2009, when he used credit card information from a North Carolina woman who checked into the motel to sign up for a 30-day free trial on an Internet dating service site, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said in court Thursday. At the end of the 30-day trial, Clark failed to terminate the free trial and the North Carolina woman's credit card was billed, Wilson said.

Investigators in Halifax County, N.C., were able to trace who used the credit card by going to the dating service Web site and looking up Clark's profile, Wilson said.

Clark was convicted April 22, 1997, of armed robbery and use of a handgun in commission of a crime of violence, Wilson said in court. Clark's conviction was for a Nov. 13, 1996, holdup at the Jefferson Boulevard branch of Hagerstown Trust, Wilson said after the sentencing.

Clark's attorney, Stephen Sacks, said his client was released from prison on the robbery conviction in 2007.

In 2008, Clark was convicted of altering a drug or alcohol test by using a device to provide "clean" urine, Wilson said after the sentencing. Boone originally gave Clark a suspended sentence in that case, according to court records.

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