SIOUX CITY | A Sioux City woman faces numerous charges for stealing more than $36,000 from more than a dozen disabled adults for whom she was a care provider.
Court documents said that Lisa Sembach-Preston used the money to buy furniture, clothing, meals at restaurants, a trip to Las Vegas and pay her rent.
Sembach-Preston, 48, was arrested Monday on 19 counts of dependent adult abuse -- financial exploitation, 13 counts of second-degree theft, three counts of third-degree theft and three counts of fourth-degree theft. She is being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a $159,000 bond. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 13.
The thefts took place from February 2015 through April 2017 and include at least 16 victims, court records show. Sembach-Preston took amounts ranging from $300 to $5,295 from the victims. The total amount taken is approximately $36,791.
An investigation began into her activities in May and is still ongoing, the Sioux City Police Department said in a news release.
According to court documents, Sembach-Preston, a former worker at Crossroads of Western Iowa, a Council Bluffs-based nonprofit that provides services to adults with disabilities and mental illnesses, was responsible for each victim's bank accounts and financial matters when she took the money. She transferred money between the clients' bank accounts in order to keep them from being overdrawn, court documents said.
Crossroads CEO Brent Dillinger said his agency is cooperating with Sioux City police and has contracted with a Sioux City accounting firm to help with the process of reimbursing the victims for their losses.
"Crossroads of Western Iowa is reviewing its current processes and policies of the distribution of program client funds and making whatever changes necessary to strengthen these measures," Dillinger said in a released statement.