Former Missouri Travel Agent Sentenced

The St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that a former Missouri travel agent has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the victims of a fraud scheme she perpetrated upon them from August 2001 to April 2004. Prosecutors contended that Karen Hartstein, 42, defrauded some 200 people and businesses over that time period by promising to pay back $5,000 loans with free airline and ocean cruise tickets, the paper reported. Hartstein failed to repay many of the loans, and, in some cases, used incoming loans to pay for airline tickets from others from whom she borrowed money, The Post Dispatch said. Hartstein pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of credit card fraud.

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