Joplin Charity, Misti's Mission Faces Fraud Judgment; Founder R - KOAM TV 7

Joplin Charity, Misti's Mission Faces Fraud Judgment; Founder Responds to Case

Newton County, Missouri -

A more than ten thousand dollar judgment against a Joplin charity found to have committed fraud. The charity is Misti's mission. It was started to help distribute donations to victims of the Joplin tornado. And its founder says she plans to help in Goodman, Mo now.

Misti Lindquist, her husband Jim and Misti's Mission have until April 24th to appeal a court  judgment that says they owe a  Newton County  property owner eight thousand dollars plus twenty-five hundred dollars in attorney fees. The case filed in 2015 just ended in March with a Judge Tim Perigo finding that Misti’s Mission pocketed rent from property it did not own.

Stephanie Uto, the current renter of the property said, "She got paid every month." Uto and Zachery Sales are now trying to buy the home in Newton County south of Seneca and its five acres.  They had lived here eleven months in 2013 when they met the real property owner. Sara Corbett. Stephanie said Corbett’s greeting was, " Like, ‘hi, I’m the owner of this house. I didn’t know anybody was living here."

They and a family before them, from October 2012 through 2013, paid five hundred dollars a month rent to Misti Lindquist of Misti’s Mission who said she wanted to buy the home to use for volunteers working to help Joplin tornado victims.

Misti Lindquist talked with KOAM and said, “If we could get a grant to pay for the home that is what we would do.”

But renters say  Misti told them  she was sending payments to Sara.
Sara Corbett, who moved out of state a week before the Joplin tornado, vacating the property told us by phone, "I never received a penny from her ever. That’s not the whole point of me going to court.  I wanted her to be proved for the fraud  she was showing me that she was. I think she started out with good intentions, I really do, but I think  that she realized me being out of town, she was able to get away with scamming me like she did."

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Misti denies any scam. She said, "We haven’t committed no fraud at all because everything we discussed is what we did."

So where did the rent money go?

Misti explained, "It went to pay for all the repairs to the house, to their well house, to their pipes, to their furnace,  the air conditioner, windows that were broke. There was body holes in their walls of the home so we had to go in and replace all of that. That’s where the money went, to fix her home up."

While Misti contends the rent money was used to make repairs at the home, those who live there now, say she only fixed plumbing for them once.

Zachery Sales said when they moved there,  "It was pretty rough. I had to replace the bathroom floors and water pipes  and um I  had to fix some of the plumbing too."

Uto said, "It was just a big lie. We didn't know what she was doing with the money cause it wasn’t going back into the house and it wasn’t going to the person it needed to be going to. So where did the money go?

Uto said she and Sales  put in the air conditioner and she  has receipts from a pump service for work on the well.

Misti contends she has receipts  too but lawyers for Sara say they never materialized in court. And she didn’t provide them to KOAM-TV.

William Weber, Sara’s attorney said, "Before we even went to trial all the allegations we made in our petition were deemed admitted true."

That’s because Misti didn’t respond to the petition or to discovery requests. Misti’s own lawyer withdrew  after a year on the case and numerous continuances she had requested.

Misti said, “We are going to appeal. With me not having legal representation there, I feel like that hurt us instead of helping us."

Misti  said she doesn’t have funds for the $10,500  judgment. In 2015 she turned to a gofundme account to save the Misti’s mission property. The account is now down. Plaintiffs worry she'll seek help  to pay the judgment.

Sara said, “I hope that it just comes to light and people won’t in turn donate money  to her whether it’s through a gofundme or  through charities or whatever.

We checked with the Missouri Attorney General and found at least six complaints about Misti's Mission.
The Misti's Mission facebook page continues to list that it is a 501c3 charity, but we found  that status was revoked  in November of 2016 and posted as revoked on the IRS website on March 13th of this year. 

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