Criminal Justice

Suspended Mo. Attorney Gets 4 Years in $866K Bank Fraud


A Missouri lawyer who was previously suspended from practice in an unrelated matter has been sentenced to 50 months in federal prison for defrauding a bank of more than $866,000.

Dawn Renee Harpster, 38, pleaded guilty last year to five counts of bank fraud. Doing business as Northwest Missouri Title Co., in Gallatin, she allegedly forged documents to convince Norbank, in North Kansas City, to provide $866,810 in mortgages in 2006 for five parcels that Harpster was to purchase and resell to the church at a handsome profit, according to the Gallatin North Missourian and the Kansas City Business Journal.

“When the bank disbursed the loans in the form of cashier’s checks, Harpster used the proceeds for personal expenditures and not for the purposes represented,” the North Missourian recounts.

Harpster had faced a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each count. In addition to the 50-month prison term, which she is to serve without parole, she was also ordered to pay $866,810 in restitution to the bank by Chief U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan.

She will begin serving her sentence in January 2009.

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