A bookkeeper who used part of about $120,000 she stole to purchase flowers that she had sent to herself with other people’s names signed on the greeting cards was sentenced today to seven years in prison.

Raimonda Uva, 37, of the 400 block of Victoria Drive in Wood Dale, pleaded guilty in April to financial exploitation of the elderly and theft for stealing about $107,000 from an elderly Bloomingdale man, and $13,000 from an Oak Brook widow with five children. Both had hired her as a personal bookkeeper.

Assistant DuPage County Helen Kapas Erdman told Judge Robert Kleeman  that Uva spent the money on nail salons for pedicures, cigarette stores, bracelets and rings from Tiffany & Co. jewelers in Oak Brook, restaurant meals, and gifts for members of her family. And “on numerous occasions (she spent the money on) flowers that she would send to herself bearing the names of people who really didn’t send her the flowers,” Kapas Erdman said.
 
The thefts occurred between 2005 and 2009. Uva received probation in 2004 on forgery charges stemming from her former job as a Gurnee bank loan officer.

“I’m ashamed and disgraced,” Uva said in court. “I bought things I couldn’t afford and I wanted to make people look at me more successfully. Now my family is ashamed of me.”

Kleeman responded, “You’re a thief, pure and simply. We all want those things, but that’s not how you go about it.”

Uva, who faced up to 15 years in prison, was also ordered by Kleeman to pay $107,000 in restitution to the Bloomingdale man. The Oak Brook woman has already been compensated by the defendant’s family.

abarnum@tribune.com