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Area travel agent given jail time, fine for ponzi scheme


St. Louis, MO – A former Chesterfield travel agent must spend more than eleven years in prison and repay over two million dollars for running a lending scheme out of her office.

Karen Harstein, 42, pled guilty to felony wire fraud. According to US Attorney Catherine Hanaway, Harstein borrowed money from clients and promised to pay them back and give them free airline tickets.

Harstein often borrowed more money from other clients to repay the loans, which put her deeper in debt.

Hanaway says Harstein defrauded roughly 200 individuals and businesses.


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