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updated: 10/3/2013 2:43 PM

Woman pleads not guilty to stealing $255,000 from 89-year-old man

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  • Theresa A. Lau

      Theresa A. Lau

 
 

A Glenview woman accused of stealing $255,000 from an 89-year-old man pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of financial exploitation of the elderly in Lake County court Thursday.

Theresa Lau, 44, of the 0 to 100 block of Park Drive, faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of the charges against her, Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes said.

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She also has been charged with theft and money laundering, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Scott Turk said in court.

Lau was arrested May 1 after Lincolnshire Police investigators said the victim filed a complaint against her. Lau worked for the victim as a private nurse.

The victim's son contacted police after his father, who suffers from the early stages of dementia, released a $150,000 payment to Lau.

Police were able to stop that transaction, but learned through the investigation that Lau had taken $100,000 from the man between June 2012 and March 2013.

Authorities said Lau was told numerous times by police and her attorneys to return the $100,000 that was taken. But Lau split the money and moved it to various bank accounts throughout the United States in an effort to hide it, officials said.

After a final unsuccessful attempt to retrieve the funds in May, authorities arrested and charged Lau. She remains free from jail after posting the required 10 percent of her $500,000 bail.

Because of the victim's health and age, Turk said he is pushing for a speedy trial or to collect testimony from the victim immediately.

Shanes said he would hold an evidentiary hearing regarding the victim's testimony, then schedule the trial for Dec. 9.

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