(WGN-AM)- A former Plainfield man who stole more than $400,000 from a retired nun while serving as her financial adviser and gambled most of it at local casinos was sentenced Thursday to 6 years in prison.
William Lofthus, 55, pleaded guilty in January 2009 to theft over $100,000 from Bernice Laurins, who died in 2005 at 92.
DuPage County State's Attorney William Wu.
Sometime about 2000 she turned her savings and family investments over to Lofthus, who handled them until she died while living at a Willowbrook nursing home.
Wu told Judge Blanche Hill Fawell that Lofthus spent almost all of the stolen money, $427,163, gambling at area riverboat casinos.
"This woman dedicated her life to helping others," Wu said. "It took her a lifetime to save it and it took him five years to spend it."
Fawell said that "this woman sacrificed and now she is gone. It is tragic and wrong to steal from an elderly woman more money than most people take in a lifetime."
Defense attorney Michelle Moore told Fawell that Lofthus suffers from a bipolar disorder and has no criminal history.
Lofthus stole the money by writing unauthorized checks from her account, paying his credit card bills from her account and transferring funds to his bank from her account, authorities said.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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Man Who Stole From Nun Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison
Nun Passed Away in 2005
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