Harvest Ministries and Fraud Charges

Harvest Ministries owns the old Western building down town. In November of 2009, the Tribune ran a story about plans to turn it into a medical facility and television studio. There was also a story by KOAM.  In January of this year, the Tribune reported that the president of Harvest Ministries had been indicted on charges of fraud bankruptcy fraud.

Despite claiming innocence back in January Paul and Charolette House have both plead guilty to the charges according to eMissourian.

Apparently Mr. House pastored a church and he directed them to pay his salary to Harvest Ministries instead of to him directly. He then claimed he was not employed for bankruptcy and disability purposes while Harvest Ministries funneled the salary back into his personal accounts.

The county tax search shows that Harvest Ministries owns the property at 8 1st Street and 14 1st Street. There are outstanding taxes due on the properties of around $45,000 dating back to 2006.

With the Paul and Charolette House waiting to be sentenced early next year, it seems unlikely that there will be any plans to do anything with the building in the near future if ever.  It is possible that the county could sell the properties at the upcoming tax auction, but it may be difficult to find someone with a plan and the financing to do something with those buildings.

4 thoughts on “Harvest Ministries and Fraud Charges”

  1. I am not sure if I remember this correctly but wasn’t he basically given the building by the owner when he agreed that he would pay the back taxes? I had always wondered about that because every time we bought or sold a property, taxes had to be paid before the paper work moved forward. It is unfortunate that people do these kinds of things. Maybe he thought he found a “loophole” to finance a “dream”. I’m afraid as time goes by that Fort Scott is going to have even more buildings they can’t even give away unless they set some real priorities and stop the “outreach” of special projects. Can you imagine the cost of just removing, if possible, a building like this? I know there were projected costs and just the cleanup necessary was shocking. I understand it has been in bad shape for years and the situation was just ignored. That doesn’t work. Oh, I guess that is evident!

    1. I had heard that one of the previous owners took anything of value out of the building and sold it. It may be more expensive to get it back to a usable condition than what it would cost to build a new building.

        1. I’m not sure, but it seems probable that the owner challenged the appraised value–particularly if the building had been stripped of anything valuable. A lower appraised value would have driven the taxes down like that.

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