Cladek’s lies were so good – she got more than 250 local investors tangled in her financial façade. Neighbors often recommended more neighbors. Many were still signing up even as Cladek’s ponzi scheme was collapsing.
Jane Edney lived just down the street from Cladek on Atlantic View Dr. “When I first invested with her she was already $20 million in debt,” said Edney.
By 2009, many of her clients were nervous about the payouts. The economy had tanked and checks were coming in late, and some weren’t coming in at all. Soon, someone picked up the phone and called the feds.
Even as federal investigators raided Cladek’s office in April of 2010, Cladek promised her clients that her business was on the up and up.
“I remember she lied to us right up to the very last minute,” said Edney.
During her September sentencing in U.S. Federal Court, Cladek showed no signs of remorse or responsibility. In fact, she adamantly denied stealing any money when she addressed the judge. “They did not prove that the money I withdrew came from investor funds,” said Cladek.
She’s a sociopath,” said another local investor. “She has no compassion, no ability to relate to other people and that’s what we saw in court.”
Another investor compared Cladek to an unconscious force of nature like a tornado. “I had a belief system with this person,” he said. “Suddenly there was this betrayal. If it was just a betrayal only in a material form, that would be one thing. It was a betrayal of spirit; it was a betrayal of the deepest core of trust.”