H. Kent Desselle, an Independence attorney, has been ordered to pay back more than a half million dollars to a widowed investor who entrusted him with her investments.

H. Kent Desselle, an Independence attorney, has been ordered to pay back more than a half million dollars to a widowed investor who entrusted him with her investments.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan issued a consent order Tuesday requiring Desselle to pay back the investor who lost more than $400,000 through Desselle’s investment firm, New Century Investments, LLC, 1425 S. Noland Road. The widow had entrusted her investments to Desselle in 1996, after her husband’s death.

According to Carnahan’s office, its investigation revealed that Desselle, who was not registered to sell securities, assured the woman that all investments would be low risk. As recently as 2007, Desselle told her the value of her investments was more than $560,000.

The woman wrote to Desselle this year to ask for her money, stating “my future is depending on the money that is in your company.” At that time, Desselle admitted that he had lost the investment funds between 1996 and 2000, a secretary of state press release states.

Reached Wednesday for comment, Desselle said: “Quite honestly, I wish I could comment on it, but I can’t.”

Desselle is the attorney who handled the Sam and Lindsey Porter trust fund established to help the foundation pay for a memorial playground dedicated in June to the Independence children who were abudcted and killed by their father in 2004. Desselle invested about $20,000 from the fund into New Century while overseeing the fund. Because of that, he longer oversees the Porter’s memorial fund.

“It’s important to call the Investor Protection Hotline to check out any person you are going to trust with your money,” Carnahan said in the statement. “Even if you think you know the person or their background, it’s now more important than ever before to research any investment as well as the person making the offer. Remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” 

The order requires Desselle to pay the wronged investor $560,000 in addition to making a payment of $15,000 to the state’s Investor Education and Protection Fund.

The consent order also prohibits Desselle or New Century Investments from selling any unregistered securities. In addition, Desselle is required to make 10 payments of $4,000 each to the investor on the 30th of every month beginning in December. The balance of $500,000 will be due Dec. 1, 2010.