February is the earliest that a man convicted of fraud will be released from jail in Indiana, but then Christopher Clapp will be extradited to face punishment for other crimes in Ohio and possibly Montana.
Clapp, 30, was sentenced last month in Warsaw for a Class D felony count of fraud. On May 10, Clapp stole three credit cards from Brooke Bays of Warsaw. Clapp had been renting a room from Bays when he stole her debit and credit cards and used them to obtain more than $515 in cash and cigarettes.
Before Warsaw Police issued warrants for Clapp, StaceyPageOnline.com learned the man had victimized other women across the country (see related story). Clapp currently has two warrants out of Ohio and, according to one of his alleged victims, he is also wanted for felony theft and auto theft in Missoula County, Mont.
Defense attorney John Barrett, Warsaw, said Clapp was sentenced by Judge Joe Sutton in Kosciusko County Superior III on a plea agreement. In exchange for his guilty plea to one count of fraud, a second fraud charge was dismissed.
Clapp could have faced 6 years behind bars, but with the plea he was sentenced to 3 years, with 18 months suspended. Barrett said Judge Sutton found three aggravating factors in Clapp’s case, those being his criminal record, a current probation violation in Ohio and the fact Bays suffered “significant loss” from the fraud he committed.
Judge Sutton also noted two mitigating factors in Clapp’s favor saying he did agree to plea guilty and face the consequences, and that prolonged incarceration would cause a hardship to his dependents. “I thought Judge Sutton got it about right,” Barrett said. “I feel justice was served in this case.”
Clapp was also ordered to pay $503 in restitution to Bays. The suspended jail time is to be served on probation.
Because he has been jailed since his May 16 arrest, unable to post the $2,000 cash bond, Clapp received 118 days of jail time credit. With additional credit, he will be incarcerated until approximately February, but Barrett noted at the end of his sentence here he will be extradited to Ohio where he is wanted on a warrant for violating his probation on an aggravated assault charge, and on a separate warrant for receiving stolen property and misuse of credit cards.
“He’ll probably be out from under everything in about a year and a half,” Barrett surmised, noting he could find no active warrant for Clapp out of Montana.