Oak Park man charged with bilking elderly mother

? David Hoffman accused of taking $500,000 from 94-year-old mom under false pretenses.

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By BILL DWYER

Oak Park resident David A. Hoffman, 68, is being held in the DuPage County Jail on $1 million bond in connection with an alleged $500,000 scam involving his 94-year-old mother. According to DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett's office, Oak Brook police were contacted in October 2003 by concerned relatives of the victim, Oak Brook resident Angela Hoffman.

Oak Brook police and the DuPage State's Attorney's office then initiated an investigation that ultimately concluded that David Hoffman and his mother's caretaker, Thelma Ogden, 52, of Gurnee, had allegedly taken $500,000 from the woman under the pretense that it was to be invested in a business venture of Ogden's in the Philippines. Instead, authorities contend, the two used the money to vacation in the Philippines "on multiple occasions," at which times they reportedly lived extravagantly.

On January 11, 2005, Birkett approved theft charges against both Hoffman and Ogden, and in February a DuPage County Grand Jury indicted Hoffman and Ogden on charges of theft over $100,000, theft between $300 and $10,000, financial exploitation of an elderly person and forgery. Hoffman was arrested by Oak Park police the next day at his home at 675 Lake St. Authorities believe that Ogden, who is originally from the Philippines, may have fled there.

Hoffman, who is seeking to have his $1 million bond reduced, will next appear in court on  Monday, April 18 before Judge Ann Jorgensen.

If convicted of the four felony counts against him, Hoffman could be sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison. The most serious charge against Hoffman is theft over $100,000, which is a Class 1 felony which carries a four to 15 year prison sentence. The other charges carry penalties ranging from two to seven years. However, due to the victim being elderly, those sentences can be doubled at a judge's discretion.

Birkett was blunt in a press release outlining the case Monday, calling Hoffman's actions "the highest level of betrayal."

"I intend to see that this victim gets justice for these reprehensible acts," he said.
CONTACT: bdwyer@wjinc.com

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