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