Police: Woman tried to buy house with fake $1.2M check

Liz Evans Scolforo

Buying a house can be a nerve-wracking experience in the best of circumstances. So just imagine what a nail-biting affair it must be to try to buy a house with a forged $1.2 million cashier's check.

That's what Carroll Township Police say a Dillsburg-area woman did in late January.

Logo arrest

Katherine Drew Kempson, 49, of the 400 block of Cabin Hollow Road in Warrington Township, remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail. That means she didn't have to post cash to remain free but could forfeit that amount if she misses court proceedings.

According to police, Kempson forged a cashier's check by using the internet to copy the business logo of Members First Federal Credit Union.

"The fraud department at Members First picked up on it," said Sgt. David Smith. "There were red flags that kept coming up. ... Things weren't adding up."

Kempson also forged a bank employee's signature on mortgage paperwork, according to the sergeant.

"We get bad check cases all the time," Smith said. "Usually they range from $15 or $20, up to a couple thousand dollars. But this is the first time I've seen an amount like this."

Inexplicable: Smith said he was at a loss to explain how anyone could think they could buy a home with a kited check and get away with it.

Asked whether Kempson is familiar to Carroll Township Police, Smith declined to go into specifics.

"She has a history," he said. "I'll leave it at that."

Kempson also is  accused of writing a bad check in the amount of $60,000 to Coldwell Banker Real Estate, Smith said.

After obtaining a warrant, police arrested her Thursday at her home, while there was a sheriff's sale going on there, according to the sergeant.

Kempson could not be reached for comment Friday, and it's unclear whether she's retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.