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Stark County Attorney Who Swindled Clients Sentenced to Prison


(CANTON, Ohio) — A former Canton-area attorney was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to stealing from his clients, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier announced today.

“Robbing elderly clients behind their backs is a disgraceful betrayal of trust that warrants stiff consequences,” Yost said. “This sentence should serve as a warning that targeting older Ohioans for exploitation won’t be tolerated.”

Added Sheriff Maier: “Our collaborative dedication to this case underscores our commitment to prosecuting financial crimes diligently. The Attorney General’s Office and our deputies worked tirelessly on this case, and this outcome reflects our resolve to ensure that those who betray public trust are held responsible. We remain dedicated to upholding the law and protecting our citizens from exploitation."

William Sparks, 71, of Jackson Township, previously pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft from a protected class, aggravated theft, and grand theft. He was sentenced to four to six years in prison and ordered to pay $339,050.38 in restitution.

Sparks used his title company, American Realty Title Assurance Company of Stark County, to commit the offenses against his real estate clients.

The case was investigated by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Forensic Accounting Unit. Special prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case.

The Elder Justice Unit – a collaborative effort of the attorney general’s Crime Victim Services, Consumer Protection, Health Care Fraud and Special Prosecutions sections and BCI – works to educate Ohioans about the warning signs and risks of financial exploitation. Elderly people, especially, are vulnerable to such crime.

Steve Irwin: 614-728-5417


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