Harrisburg woman accused of exploiting elderly person finances

Harrisburg woman accused of exploiting elderly person finances

HARRISBURG, IL (KFVS) - More details have emerged about the case surrounding a Saline County woman accused of posing as a caretaker.

Kimberly Ital faces multiple charges for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from an elderly woman.

Investigators say ital allegedly spent part of the victim's life savings on things like vacations and cars.

Ital is now behind bars, but the victim's family wants to warn others of how easy it is for people to take advantage of others.

Kimberly Ital is the woman the Phelps family say they once trusted.

A woman they let in to their home and take care of one of their own.  Karen Phelps a elderly woman suffering from dementia who needed help 24/7 for her medical and financial needs.

"We loved her to death," says Ron Phelps, Karen's brother-in-law.

Ron Phelps says he never suspected a thing.

"She moved in there and acted like she was the most honest woman that ever walked to the planet," he says.

After Ital's arrest Wednesday, the Phelps family says they are beginning to realize how little they knew about this person.

It's what she's being accused of doing with the money that shocked them the most.

According to the Saline County State's Attorney Mike Henshaw, Ital used tens of thousands of dollars to buy vehicles for herself and her husband.

Another few thousand dollars was put towards her daughter tuition at John A. Logan College.

She used a few hundred dollars to bail her son out of jail and pay for a Hawaiian vacation for her and her family.

"It was an absolute shock."

Looking back, Phelps says it could have easily been avoided.

"Find out who they are and what they have done in the past," he says.

The state's attorney is still investigating and says dozens of other charges are possible.

If convicted, she could face more than 40 years in prison.

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