Former Palos Heights insurance agent charged with swindling $100K from elderly client, moving to Florida

A former Palos Heights insurance agent faces federal charges alleging she swindled more than $100,000 from a client in his 80s before moving to Florida.

Starting in 2008, Diane Lazar allegedly sold several annuities and a life insurance policy to an elderly client in North Riverside, then designated her own daughter to be a beneficiary of the policy, according to the U.S. State’s Attorney’s office of the Northern District of Illinois.

When Lazar’s client died in 2014, she tried to fraudulently collect some of the client’s annuity and insurance proceeds, prosecutors said. She also submitted a phony power of attorney to the client’s bank to withdraw about $100,000 from his checking account, prosecutors said.

Lazar, of Cape Coral, Florida, is charged with two counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, prosecutors said.

Her arrangement is set for Wednesday in Chicago.

The bank fraud and false statement counts are punishable by up to 30 years in prison, while the wire fraud counts are punishable by up to 20 years, prosecutors said.