Charges Dropped Against Husband of Woman Who Claimed Cancer

Charges Dropped Against Husband of Woman Who Claimed Cancer

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Prosecutors have dropped the fraud charges against a man whose wife falsely claimed to have cancer and collected thousands of dollars in donations.

Salt Lake County prosecutors said Wednesday they no longer felt they could prove Drug Enforcement Agency officer Jeff James Clark was part of the scam perpetrated by his wife, Tania Clark.

Tania Clark, 32, who has pleaded guilty to felony counts of theft and theft by deception in Utah and Salt Lake counties, is taking sole responsibility for the crimes, said Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Robert Stott.

Stott said the attorney for the woman said she would testify "she was the only one involved, and that her 36-year-old husband did not know anything about the fact that (her claims of illness) were false."

To prove the husband was involved in the scheme, prosecutors would have to prove that "he knew she didn't have cancer and he had intent to commit fraud," Stott said. "We don't think we have sufficient evidence to overcome that."

Jeff Clark's job status remains uncertain, DEA spokeswoman Karen Flowers said Thursday, and he remains on unpaid administrative leave.

Tania Clark was sentenced by a Utah County judge last month to probation and community service and was ordered her to pay $5,800 in restitution.

Sentencing in Salt Lake County is set for Sept. 12 before 3rd District Judge Paul Maughan.

Tania Clark told family and friends she was dying of myeloma and needed $62,000 for a bone marrow transplant.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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