Former attorney sentenced to prison for money fraud

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal judge sentenced former attorney Harley Kent Desselle from Raytown, Mo., to three years in prison alongside eight years of supervised release in regards to stealing nearly $650,000 from three victims.

Nancy Clifton vividly recalls the day she found out that money that her most the husband's life insurance policy was gone.

"I was numb. I could not believe it could happened," Clifton said.

She, alongside Tina Porter, was two of three victims of fraud committed by Desselle.

He plead guilty on Monday to bank fraud which involved stealing donations from the Sam and Lindsey Porter Foundation.

The foundation was created to help raise money for a playground in Independence in memory of the two children who were kidnapped and murdered by their father.

Federal prosecutors said Desselle pocketed $19,500 from the foundation.

Then there's the life insurance money Clifton trusted Desselle. He mismanaged $616,874 out of the $750,000 policy.

"Three years for a 63-year-old old disbarred attorney is excellent," Jane Pansing Brown, the assistant U.S. district attorney who prosecuted the case said.

Judge Dean Whipple ordered Desselle to pay $348,794.79 to his victims as restitution.

During the sentence, Judge Whipple was still puzzled how a man who studied and practiced the law could find himself on the other side of it.

"It's an amazement to all of us, but in fact he stole money from those individuals," Brown said.

Desselle's victims believe Monday's sentencing was fair.

"There's a lot of good people out there and trust they're going to what they're supposed to do," Porter said. "We just got the wrong one."

Desselle will show up to prison on December 18.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments