Joliet woman admits to bilking elderly victim out of $1.6M
JOLIET, Ill. - A Joliet woman admitted last week to a series of threats and intimidation to bilk an elderly man out of more than $1.6 million.
Lee Turner, also known as "Ashley Turner," 40, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce to promote and carry on unlawful activity — namely theft and intimidation.
In a plea agreement, Turner admitted that from 2018 to 2021, she communicated numerous threats and fraudulent statements to the victim, who was in his 70s and had limited vision.
Turner threatened to expose the victim's purported criminal activity, even though Turner had no knowledge of such activity committed by the victim, prosecutors said.
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Turner also took on false personas to convey false statements purportedly from others, including alleged gang members, individuals involved in organized crime, prosecutors, journalists and corrupt law enforcement officers.
In one example, Turner used the alias "Big Joe" and sent a series of messages to the victim claiming that the victim had to pay $30,000 to prevent law enforcement from raiding the victim's residence and a relative's residence.
On June 13, 2019, the victim paid Turner $30,000 to avoid the purported raids.
The money was one of dozens of similar payments, ranging in value from $5,000 to $66,000, that the victim made to Turner, prosecutors said.
Turner received $1,611,975 in total from the victim, the plea agreement said.
Sentencing for Turner is scheduled for Sept. 8.