Suburban account manager who stole from elderly clients sentenced to 4 years in prison
A retired nurse in her 90s testified how her questions helped uncover thefts committed by a west suburban financial institution account manager who was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.
Christine Lang, 48, of Summit, was sentenced Monday on a count of felony theft in DuPage County court. The former account manager at the Trust Company of Illinois in Downers Grove, stole $328,000 from the accounts of three elderly clients and spent much of the money at riverboat casinos, DuPage County prosecutors said.
One of the victims, a woman in her 90s, testified at Lange’s sentencing hearing that she called Lange in 2016 when TCI failed to mail her quarterly statements. Lange promised to send a statement but failed to do so, the woman said. TCI finally mailed her a statement, and the woman said her account balance was down by $58,000.
“It made me sick to my stomach,” she said. She reported the issue to police, who began an investigation that led to Lange’s arrest.
Assistant State’s Atty. Lynn Cavallo said Lange spent a lot of the stolen funds on riverboat gambling. She lost more than $200,000 at one Joliet casino, authorities said.
“When she went gambling, she didn’t use her own paycheck. She spent the lifelines of three elderly people,” Cavallo told Judge Robert Miller.
Authorities say that Lange stole the money over a four-year period and made 84 illegal transfers from the accounts of the victims to her own account.
Lange, who had no previous record, tearfully apologized and said she was ashamed by her actions. She asked for probation so she could continue to help her parents, but the judge said her crime called for a prison sentence.
“You picked on the most vulnerable people in society, and you did it 84 separate times,” Miller told Lange.
Miller said Lange’s crimes were also a form of gambling – Lange gambled that the victims would die or not notice the thefts, and she gambled that she wouldn’t be caught. But Lange failed to outwit the retired nurse, Miller said. The elderly woman walked with the help of a cane and had her daughter stand by her for emotional support as she took the witness stand, testifying in a clear, sharp manner.
“You picked the wrong person. She’ll probably outlive us all,” the judge told Lange.
Miller ordered Lange to pay TCI $328,000 in restitution. The financial company reimbursed the victims of the thefts.
Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter.
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Over 2 Million dollars were stolen my my family estate.
I was wondering if anyone know how I would go about getting help for my family? I am a guardian of a disabled person. I am also her aunt. She is 25 years old. Her Mom died giving birth to her. My parents sued the hospital and won 15 million. My parents were told that the money had to go to Northern Trust. So Northern Trust is the guardian of the estate along with my mom and I. My father died. The settlement was won 17 years ago. Everyone New my parents couldn’t read or count. I was my mom power of attorney but the bank, attorneys etc did not consult me. of the 15 Million dollar settlement, only 11 million was put in the account with Northern Trust. or lets just say, Northern trust only showed record of 11 million in the account. 2 Million in attorney fees and other fees and 2 million just gone. They didn’t give my parents a dime. My niece is living in a home that has a very bad crack foundation, the windows won’t open, some were nailed shut by Northern trust real estate department. the home is not accessible and has a lot of damage and delayed maintenance. My niece can’t go on vacations or buy a new home because northern trust say her now 12 million dollar estate can’t afford it. Northern trust invest in their own failing mutual funds and stock, which lose millions. Northern trust take the gain from the S&P 500 stock and buy more of their failing stock. Because they are the guardian of the estate, I feel thats a conflict of interest. Also, I asked the judge many times that we don’t want Northern trust but no one will allow us to get rid of them saying, we chose them. But my parent were told they had to take them. I hired over 7 Attorneys and before signing the service contract, they said they will help me. then after signing the contract, they then refused to Help me get rid of Northern trust, and a very bad Guardian ad Litem. The judge took the Guardian Ad Litem off the case but he keep showing up for court saying, Northern Trust asked him to come and the estate keep paying him. WE REALLY NEED HELP NOW! Do anyone have any contact to a media person that will cover this story? Do anyone know of any good attorney who will help me sue them? We are in cook county. In Chicago are. All help and referrals are welcome. Im so stressed out, I went from 147 Pounds to 187 pounds. I am now on a very strict diet to lose weight. Im losing daily but the stress is still great dealing with the probate system. PLEASE HELP!