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Prosecutors Offering Plea Deal To Accused Serial Scammer Candace Clark

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Cook County prosecutors are negotiating a possible plea agreement with accused serial scammer Candace Clark, whose story CBS 2 Investigator Dorothy Tucker has been following for more than two years.

During Clark's latest court appearance on Wednesday, prosecutors said they have made a plea offer in Clark's case, and defense attorney David Drwencke said they will be filing an answer later in the day, as they seek to enter into formal plea negotiations.

The two sides will meet for a formal plea conference next month.

The latest development comes just two weeks after a judge said Clark's case "has gone on long enough," when Clark's new attorney had asked for more time to meet with his client.

When Tucker first met Clark, she was the star of a private ceremony where she was being sworn in as the new United Nations attaché. But it was all fake - the judge and the audience were mostly actors.

Over the course of many months, we discovered several fake ceremonies where Clark pretended to be sworn in as Illinois' new Director of Special Investigations. She had scammed actors, musicians, caterers, venue owners out of thousands of dollars.

The judge in the phony ceremonies was not really a judge – she was independent film actress Jamie Newell.

"It was all a fake, a hoax," Newell told Tucker in January.

We had evidence that Clark's deceptions dated back to her high school days. At Percy Julian High School in Chicago's Washington Heights neighborhood, classmates thought Clark was Miss Teen Illinois.

The real winner was Danielle Reese.

At one point, Clark pretended to be a counselor and was accused of swindling young mothers out of $3,600.

Clark also posed as a real estate agent and conned Darlene Simmons out of her entire retirement - $73,000.

"She's a devil," Simmons said last winter.

Our biggest discovery was Clark's housing scam. She loved renting big, expensive, beautiful homes - only she never paid for them.

Clark was evicted 23 times over 12 years. Altogether, we identified 86 people and companies that lost money to Clark, and when we added up the total, it came to a whopping $469,000.

After our series of reports, police arrested Clark on Jan. 17, 2020. After she made bail, the last time we saw her she was leaving court with her attorney Borjan Kovacevic.

Since then, Clark's case has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and also by her own actions. A year ago, Clark fired attorney Kovacevic, with no explanation. She was then assigned an assistant public defender, who withdrew after Drwencke came on for private representation in November.

It's unclear what the terms of a plea deal might be.

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