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SIOUX CITY | A Sioux City woman has pleaded not guilty to 41 charges related to the theft of more than $36,000 from more than a dozen disabled adults for whom she was a care provider.

Lisa Sembach-Preston, 48, entered her written plea Thursday in Woodbury County District Court to 20 counts of dependent adult abuse, 15 counts of second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft, three counts of fourth-degree theft and one count of commission of a specified unlawful activity.

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.

The thefts took place from February 2015 through April 2017 and include at least 16 victims with a total of approximately $36,791 taken. Sembach-Preston used the money to buy furniture, clothing, meals at restaurants, a trip to Las Vegas and pay her rent, court documents said.

Crossroads officials have said the company has hired an accounting firm to help reimburse the victims.


Court reporter

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