She Thought He Was Her Friend

CHICAGO (CN) – A felon with 16 civil judgments against him for hundreds of thousands of dollars bilked his friend and neighbor for $50,000, she claims in court.
     Juli Bark sued David A. Staral, in Cook County Court.
     Bark claims that Staral, “on information and belief has multiple felony convictions for grand theft and state benefits fraud … has been in and out of bankruptcy and … has had approximately 16 civil judgments entered against him for hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
     She adds: “Staral and Bark are neighbors, and Bark trusted him as a friend.”
     According to the complaint, in early 2010, “Staral told Bark that he had obtained great success investing money in the stock market, that he owned a Porsche, that he traveled a lot, that he had run several successful businesses and otherwise led her to believe that he was an honest, knowledgeable, successful and sophisticated investor.
     “In September 2012, Staral offered to invest money for Bark. Staral represented to Bark that with a $50,000 investment, he would generate a return of $2,000 to $3,000 per month for Bark in the stock market and that she could have her money back anytime she wanted it.”
     So, trusting him, on Sept. 20 she gave him a check for $50,000, Bark says.
     She says she has “little investing experience.”
     “Soon thereafter, through independent investigation, Bark learned that Staral had been convicted of numerous felonies for theft and fraud and learned of many judgments against him,” the complaint states.
     “After learning of his criminal background, Bark requested that Staral send her copies of statements showing what investments he had made for her. Bark also demanded that he return her money.
     “Despite multiple demands, Staral has failed and refused to return Bark’s money or to account for it.”
     Bark wants her money back, punitive damages for fraud, and costs.
     She is represented by Peter Ordower.

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