ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A St. Charles County veteran who was wounded in the Iraq war is accused of flim-flamming contributions out of people.
William Harshbarger faces seven felony counts for allegedly collecting some $6,000 in donations for the Wounded Warrior Project over a two year period, and pocketing the money himself.
“We in law enforcement could not stand by and allow any individual to profit from deceptive criminal practices such as this,” said St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar.
The joint investigation involved prosecutors in St. Charles County, St. Louis County and the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
Koster outlined how Harshbarger allegedly raised the money — outside Schnucks or Walmart, at schools and even at a teenager’s birthday party.
“A student at Pattonville High School invited Mr. Harshbarger to solicit contributions at her 15th birthday,” Koster said, “contributions that she had asked her friends to make to wounded veterans in lieu of gifts to herself.”
From that one birthday partly, Harshbarger allegedly took in $1,100 in contributions.
Prosecutors say Harshbarger has two prior offenses for stealing, making him a “persistent offender.” If convicted, he faces up to fifteen years in prison.