Thursday, May 2, 2013

Now-Disbarred Attorney Cops Plea To Client Ripoffs, Bankruptcy Fraud; Admits Ripping Off Widow Of Longtime Friend

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Kansas City, Missouri):

  • Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Jackson County, Mo., attorney pleaded guilty in federal court [] to bank fraud, which involved stealing funds from the Sam and Lindsey Porter foundation, as well as bankruptcy fraud.

    Harley Kent Desselle, 62, of Raytown, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to one count of bank fraud and one count of making a false oath in a bankruptcy proceeding. He also admitted that he defrauded the widow of a longtime friend in an investment fraud scheme.

    “A disbarred attorney took advantage of his clients, including a grieving mother and a friend’s widow, to line his own pockets,” Dickinson said. “He abused his clients and he abused the legal system for a client who declared bankruptcy. With today’s guilty plea, he will be held accountable for his flagrant misconduct.”

    “Concealing assets in a bankruptcy proceeding is a crime that threatens the integrity of the bankruptcy process and public confidence in that process, especially when the concealment is done by the attorney responsible for assuring full disclosure,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, United States Trustee for Missouri, Arkansas and Nebraska (Region 13). “We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners in this case, and in particular to U.S. Attorney Tammy Dickinson for her commitment to pursuing those who commit bankruptcy fraud and cause harm to consumers.”

    At the time of the fraud schemes, Desselle was an attorney in private practice and operated an investment company called New Century Investments. Desselle was suspended from the practice of law in December 2008 and disbarred by the Missouri Supreme Court in April 2009.
For more, along with details of each of the ripoffs, see Former Attorney Pleads Guilty To Fraud Schemes.

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