CROWN POINT, Ind. (STMW) – A southwest suburban New Lenox woman has been charged in Lake Superior, Ind. Court with forgery, fraud on a financial institution and theft after authorities said she ripped off a physically handicapped senior citizen for whom she had been hired as a caregiver.

Holly Ann Horst, 41, is accused of writing 18 unauthorized checks on the woman’s account, totaling $14,271. The checks were cashed in Hammond, Ind. and Highland, Ind. between January and mid-July. Horst was authorized to pay herself $500 to $600 a week for her work as caregiver for the woman who uses a wheelchair.

An investigation by Tinley Park police showed that $65,000 to $70,000 had been stolen from the victim’s account. Horst told the victim she lost the money while gambling.

The charges are punishable by a maximum eight-year sentence.

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