final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Escambia County. Thomas V.
P. Roberts of the Law Office of Terry P. Roberts,
Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Steven E. Woods, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Clark Ball appeals his jury convictions and sentences on four
counts of grand theft, two counts of money laundering, two
counts of racketeering, and solicitation to tamper with
evidence. We affirm.
evidence at trial uncovered details of Mr. Ball's various
schemes to swindle others and enrich himself. Mr. Ball met
his primary victim, a wealthy widow, at a bar. After
impressing her with his experience and knowledge of financial
matters, they started dating and Mr. Ball moved into her
house. About the same time, this victim became concerned with
her financial situation and whether the money she had
inherited from her late husband would continue sustaining
her. After speaking with a financial advisor who offered a
four percent return on her investments, Mr. Ball offered to
get the victim a return closer to eighteen percent.
Unfortunately, the victim agreed to let Mr. Ball invest some
of her money. She wrote him checks totaling over a million
dollars and allowed him to invest her insurance policies. Mr.
Ball proceeded to move her money around, into and through
different corporations and bank and financial accounts that
he established. Some accounts the victim authorized and some
she didn't. With access to the victim's home, Mr.
Ball gained the use of her personal bank records,
driver's license, passport, and other financial records,
along with her mail and computer.
point along the way, the victim noticed warning signs. For
instance, she walked in on Mr. Ball one day while he was
manipulating her signature on the computer screen. Indeed, he
had a thumb drive containing multiple images of her
signature. She eventually found that Mr. Ball had used her
money to buy things for himself, such as a BMW, artwork,
furniture, expensive clothes, watches, and the like. A fraud
examiner was able to trace money from the various accounts to
Mr. Ball's personal account. Mr. Ball ultimately spent or
lost all of the money. In addition to her money, Mr. Ball
used the accounts to commit crimes involving other victims.
State charged Mr. Ball with four counts of grand theft, two
counts of money laundering, two counts of racketeering, and
solicitation to tamper with evidence. A jury later returned
guilty verdicts on all counts. And this appeal followed.
comprehensive review of the record demonstrates no merit in
the six points raised by Mr. Ball challenging his convictions
and sentences. We specifically address, however, Mr.
Ball's argument that the two racketeering counts violate
the Double Jeopardy Clause. Both the Florida and United
States Constitutions contain Double Jeopardy Clauses that
protect persons from multiple prosecutions for the same
crime. State v. Tuttle, 177 So.3d 1246, 1252 (Fla.
2015). "No person shall be . . . twice put in jeopardy
for the same offense." Art. I, § 9, Fla. Const.;
U.S. Const. amend. V.; see also Hayes v. State, 803
So.2d 695, 699 (Fla. 2001).
question Mr. Ball raises here is whether the State wrongfully
chopped one single pattern of crime into two separate
criminal counts. That is, did Mr. Ball truly participate in
more than one "pattern of racketeering activity"
under the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act (RICO)? § 895.03(3), Fla. Stat.
(prohibiting "any person employed by, or associated
with, any enterprise to conduct or participate, directly or
indirectly, in such enterprise through a pattern of
cases like this one, Florida courts have evaluated whether
more than one pattern of racketeering activity exists using a
five-factor, totality-of-the-circumstances test borrowed from
federal cases. See Donovan v. State, 572 So.2d 522,
528 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990) (citing United States v.
Ruggiero, 754 F.2d 927 (11th Cir. 1985), cert.
denied, 471 U.S. 1127 (1985)); see also Gross v.
State, 765 So.2d 39, 42 (Fla. 2000) ...