Trustee Stole $400K From Nun

Chicago-area man used several schemes over several years

There's stealing from a baby.  And then there's stealing from a nun, or in this case, a dead nun.

A southwest suburban man admitted Tuesday to systematically stealing nearly $400,000 from his now-deceased victim, a former nun, over the course of five years.

William Lofthus, 55, served as trustee for Bernice Laurins, who was more than 80 years old, a release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's office said.

According to the release, Lofthus stole the money through several schemes, including writing unauthorized checks from her account, using her bank account to pay his credit card bills without permission, and transferring funds from her bank account to his without her knowledge.

Lofthus, of Plainfield, was indicted on the charges in August 2006. He pleaded guilty to one count of theft over $100,000, a Class 1 felony, on Tuesday.

His next court appearance is scheduled for March 10 for return of a pre-sentence report. Judge Blanche Fawell is then expected to schedule a sentencing date.

"Lofthus took advantage of an elderly person for his own personal benefit," State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said in the release.  "He lined his own pockets at the expense of an elderly woman who made the mistake of trusting him."

If convicted, Lofthus faces up to 15 years in prison.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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