Police expect federal charges to be filed against a Joliet woman who allegedly bilked an elderly Palos Hills senior out of $631,000.
The woman, Marion Issert, 65, was arrested last Wednesday by Palos Hills police and charged with one count of senior financial exploitation, a Class A felony.
Issert, who served as the elderly woman’s live in caregiver, reportedly was working with two other individuals, both who police believe fled to the Philippines. They are being treated as persons of interest, Palos Hills Police Chief Paul Madigan said.
“We don’t know the level of involvement they had in this,” he said last Thursday at a press conference.
Police believe one of the two individuals introduced Issert to the victim as a caretaker, he said.
Police are asking the Cook County State’s Attorney to issue warrants for their arrest before contacting the State Department and Interpol in an effort to locate them, Madigan said.
Bond for Issert was set at $500,000. She is being held at Cook County Jail and is scheduled to appear in Bridgeview court on Feb. 5.
Meanwhile, police continue their investigation.
“We are researching other things that they may have done and others acts that they may have committed, and we anticipate more charges at a later date,” Madigan said.
“There were some Social Security checks that were signed by this woman and cashed, and that money was diverted to these other people as well. I would think there are going to be some federal charges as well as we develop this,” he said.
Issert’s arrest came about three months after Palos Hills police received information from the Plows Council on Aging about a possible financial scam involving an elderly woman from Palos Hills. Plows was notified of the activity of suspicious activity by Bank of America, Madigan said.
Police subsequently worked with Plows and Cook County Public Guardian and put a lock on the victim’s accounts, Madigan said.
Working with Plows and the Cook County Financial Crimes Unit, police identified the two banks where the offenders deposited the money. The accounts were frozen, Madigan said.
“What we found was that in the course of about two months the caregiver along with two other people had taken this elderly woman to a few different banks where she had accounts and they transferred $630,000 out of this woman’s accounts,” Madigan said. “It’s kind of amazing that this amount of money was allowed to be transferred out of this woman’s accounts. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
On one occasion, $317,000 was transferred out of the woman’s account. Other transferred amounts included: $39,000, $35,000, $15,000 and $202,000, Madigan said. Police have recovered all but $88,000 of the victim’s money, he said.
“There was some information that they were trying to get the woman to donate all this money to a Filipino church group. The woman did not want to do that and told them so.”