Kelly Harbert to Be Sentenced Wednesday

Kelly Harbert, the former vice president for One Bank & Trust of Little Rock, is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Wednesday afternoon.

Harbert, you'll recall, pleaded guilty in January to bank fraud, money laundering and identity theft for a scheme in which she stole nearly $600,000.

Her lawyer, Erin Cassinelli of Little Rock, has asked the judge to consider a lenient sentence - perhaps even community punishment or home confinement.

According to Cassinelli's sentencing memorandum, Harbert initially started making phony loans "as a result of being in extreme personal debt she had kept secret for years" - even from her husband, Nathan Harbert, who subsequently lost his job at Arvest Bank.

"He was forced to move out of state. They short-sold their home, sold their property, and Ms. Harbert was forced to file bankruptcy," Cassinelli wrote. "Ms. Harbert, effectively homeless, found a place to live with friends. Quickly, Ms. Harbert found employment with a cigar company and began traveling to sell cigars."

She also continued her prolific volunteer work, although Cassinelli conceded that "some groups disassociated with Ms. Harbert after hearing about her fraud."