Woman accused of financially exploiting elderly relative

(WOODSTOCK) A northwest suburban woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with taking money from an elderly relative.

Patricia Schlitter, 51, is charged with three felony counts of financial exploitation of an elderly person, the McHenry County sheriff’s office said in a statement.

The victim, a 73-year-old woman, told police last May that she found multiple unlawful transactions on her credit card and that money had been removed from her checking account, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators uncovered records that led them to Schlitter, who is the victim’s relative, police said.

Schlitter, of the 2900 block of Spring Road in McCullom Lake, was arrested Tuesday and taken to the McHenry County jail, police said. She was ordered held on a $75,000 bond and will next appear in court March 4

Family and friends of elderly people should keep an eye out for signs of financial elder abuse, like unfamiliar signatures on checks or documents, changes in banks and large or unexplained withdrawals from accounts, police said.

A lack of back statements or canceled checks being sent to the elderly person’s residence can also be a sign of trouble, police said.

The sheriff’s office is holding a presentation on how to protect the elderly from financial crimes, and the public is invited to attend. The event will take place 10 a.m. March 11 at McHenry Township Senior Center, 3519 N. Richmond Rd. in Johnsburg.

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