South Bend, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has confirmed South Bend Police are investigating a false police report made by career con man turned “activist,” Vernado Malone. His false report is a crime that is listed as a level 6 felony in the state of Indiana, which could carry up to 2.5 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
It turns out, Malone made the false report against RNM Journalist Clifton French, claiming he threatened to shoot him on social media. It appears Malone created a fake social media post and submitted it to the South Bend Police Department as his evidence. RNM is working with our legal team and the SBPD to make sure Malone is prosecuted to fullest extent of the law.
This is just the latest attempt from the convicted felon to silence the journalist since last year when RNM uncovered a disturbing scheme in which Malone was going into a local funeral home to take full-body nude pictures of the recently deceased. Malone would take the pictures under the guise of his non-profit, Justice for Michiana, which was founded to help the families of homicide victims with funeral arrangements. Since RNM’s investigation, two families have filed lawsuits and the Indiana Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation. RNM has also uncovered schemes in which Malone was soliciting sex from a mother-in-need in order to assist her through his non-profit. RNM has also covered stories regarding stalking and harassment committed by Malone against other women.
This is just the latest attempt Malone has made to silence journalists who investigate him. Just last month, a judge denied a request for a protection order Malone was seeking. It turns out, Malone submitted stories published by RNM in an attempt to claim harassment and stalking. You can read the judge’s denial letter below.
However, only about a week after the denial, Malone filed another petition for a protection order against RNM’s journalist. RNM can only assume he included the false report he made to police as evidence in his latest attempt to silence the media.
Last year, Malone also gave RNM a “Cease and Desist” letter that appears to be written by himself. Malone then later filed a defamation lawsuit, in which he is suing journalist Clifton French for calling him a “clown.” However, neither RNM or its journalist has even been served with the lawsuit that was filed nearly a month ago.
Malone is a multiple convicted federal felon. His federal convictions are all fraud related.
In 1999, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for credit card fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.
In 2005, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Aiding and Abetting Forfeiture Allegation. He was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution.
In 2015, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for Mail Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.
There are also several state level charges and convictions, however, Malone petitioned the court to expunge those records.
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