Former Jackson socialite Linda Peach Harmon is currently on the run from Tennessee authorities after she was charged with embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from investors:
"The victims told police they wired money in September to Linda Peach Harmon, 45, as part of an investment agreement. However, police say the money was never invested, but was used for Harmon's daily living expenses.
Investigators believe Harmon is still in Middle Tennessee.
Harmon's two sons, ages 14 and 18, reportedly helped her hide from police inside their 501 Legends Ridge Court home when police arrived to arrest her Dec. 23.
Police arrested the sons Tuesday and charged them with a felony offense of accessory after the fact, reports say.
The 14-year-old was released from Williamson County Juvenile Detention to a private home, pending the surrender or arrest of his mother. Police said the mother abandoned her 14-year-old son but did not say if she will be charged in connection with that.
Anyone with information about Harmon's whereabouts is asked to call Franklin Police at 615-794-2513." The Tennessean
Ms. Harmon was a resident of Jackson until three years ago, when she sold her home and moved to Franklin. The Northeast Jackson socialite owned two jury consulting/focus group companies while in Jackson. Before she moved to Jackson, Ms. Harmon was arrested for embezzlement in Rankin County as well, and was sued by D.D. Pepmiller for what she stands accused of in Franklin: bilking investors so she could support a lavish lifestyle. Pepmiller accused her of convincing him to invest $75,000 in her jury-consulting business- "Focus One Research"- through fraudulent means. Apparently the suit is unresolved. Ms. Harmon filed an answer (without represenation it must be added) but no adjudication of the suit was in the file yesterday when examined.
Such complaints didn't deter Ms. Harmon from living well. While in Jackson, Ms. Harmon was quite the social butterfly: a home appraised at over a half-million dollars on the River Hills Country Club tennis courts, Jackson Academy for the kids, tennis leagues, and numerous friends in high-powered circles. Ms. Harmon touted herself on her website as: "a member of the Downtown Jackson Rotary Club, a board member at MS Society for Disabilities, and an active member of the Junior League of Jackson, MS and the Kappa Delta Alumni Association."
Focus One and Trial Focus both purported to provide focus group research to clients for affordable prices. Ms. Harmon even sold franchises for a tidy fee of $5000 (form). Several lawyers at prestigious law firms provided Ms. Harmon with references for her website:
"Your services were provided in a timely manner and the results were veryhelpful to us. I would be glad to talk to any potential clients about your good performance in the cases you've done for us." - Cliff Hodge, PhelpsDunbar, LLP
"I have found Trial Focus' approaches to be highly effective and of tremendous value. We can afford to use them even on smaller cases." -Harold Barkley, Barkley Law Firm"
However, behind the luxurious facade was a string of tax liens, judgements, and financial problems. The online edition of the Hinds County Judgement Rolls reveals the following past judgements against Ms. Harmon:
- A judgement in 2001 for $9,027.45 and attorney's fees. It was satisfied in 2008.
- A judgement by Citizens State Bank for $70,058.64 in 2001. It is listed as not satisfied but this is probably a mortgage and the release was not filed by the creditor.
- A judgement by Bancorp South for $23,032 in 2003 that is listed as not satisfied.
- A judgement by a leasing company for $11,452.12 in 2004 that was satisfied in 2008.
- A judgement by American Express for $6,827.86 in 2002. It is listed as not satisfied.
- A judgement by Unifund CCR Partners for $9,142.72 in 2005. It was not satisfied.
- A judgement by John T. Noblin for $35,438.56 in 2006. Satisfied in 2008.
- A judgement by Household Finance for $14,121.95 in 2003. Satisfied in 2006.
Police Press Release (Go to page 2)