Clayton A. White, 44, formerly of Conway plead guilty as part of a negotiated plea agreement in relation to the charges levied against him for running and maintain what provide to be illegitimate addiction recovery center. When he was initially arrested, Conway was charged with nine separate crimes, including operating an unlicensed business, obtaining goods by false presence, $2,000 to $10,000, representing himself as a therapist and counselor in the matter of drug addiction, and unlawful practicing medicine.
As part of his plea agreement, all the counts except for one count of obtaining goods by false pretense were dropped/
Following the plea agreement, White was ordered to pay a $1,000 restitution fine or be charged with contempt of court. His sentence also included serving 4 days in jail, which he’d already completed at the time of his sentencing.
The charges stemmed from Whit’s use of a North Myrtle Beach house which he promoted as an addiction recovery facility. White gave the impression that he was a qualified addiction specialist, which he wasn’t. White called the facility Oceanside Recovery Center.
Victims report that White promised them a 60-day recovery program operating program would help addicts overcome their dependency of controlled substances. Victims spent anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000 for the program.
The prosecutor agreed with the negotiated plea because he was worried about his abilty to prove the prosecution’s case in court. They also felt that if the case went to trial, and the victims were called on to testify, many would have been reluctant to come forward since they wouldn’t want to broadcast their struggles with addiction.
Sandy Marselis helped enroll an addict in White’s recovery program. He charged her $3,300 and warned her that she’d have to pay an additional $1,900 once the addict was in the car.
She had very strong opinions for the man she has labeled, despicable. “Clayton White not only took our money, but he took our hope,” she said. “Clayton White is a danger to society.”
Jennifer Whittle accused White of preying upon people’s vulnerability’s which he used for his own financial advantage. She wasn’t happy that the court opted to accept White’s plea deal. “There’s been no accountability whatsoever,” she said.
Victims who weren’t happy with how lightly White got off in criminal court decided to take their case to civil court instead. A class action lawsuit was filed against white by 20 of his victims. In June, White agreed to an undisclosed settlement.
“Cases like this one are exactly why I choose to become a personal injury lawyer rather than a criminal lawyer,” said Joseph Sandefur, managing partner of a top personal injury firm with an office headquartered in Myrtle Beach. “Rather than watch criminals get a slap on the wrist for events that left their victim’s lives in shambles, I’m able to work closely with each of the victims at Joe and Martin and use the legal process to get them the financial help they deserve.”