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Care provider arrested for stealing from disabled adults

She took care of 19 disable adults

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - UPDATE: A Sioux City woman stands accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from more than a dozen disabled adults that she was supposed to be caring for.

Sioux City police confirming the details this case of financial exploitation.

Lisa Sembach-Preston, a former Crossroads worker is accused of stealing over $36,000 from the patients of Crossroads services, although police say that number could grow to as much as $60,000-70,000 as they continue to investigate.

Crossroads provides independent living facilities, a daytime habilitation program, and jobs for people with developmental disabilities. 

The court documents charge Sembach-Preston with 19 felony counts that include dependent adult abuse and exploitation as well as theft. They also say she had control over the victim's bank accounts and transferred money out of them.

Sioux City police say Crossroads first notified them of the thefts from patients and is cooperating in the investigation.

"We will continue our investigation and myself and the county attorney that's responsible for this case will sit down and go over what we are going to proceed forward with from this point and now it's between the attorneys and the court system," says Detective William Nice of the Sioux City Police Department.

Crossroads officials wouldn't comment on camera, but KCAU received written statement from CEO Brent Dillenger. 

An incident occurred that has affected some of our program clients in our Sioux City service area. An alleged misappropriation of client funds by a former Crossroads employee has been discovered. Crossroads has been working with the Sioux City Police Department concerning a full investigation and an arrest has been made.

Our utmost concern throughout the investigation has been the wellbeing and monetary reimbursement of those program clients directly affected by this situation. Crossroads has a strong history and reputation of providing services to empower adults with disabilities and serious mental illness. We are saddened to discover that an ex-employee did not share the same value system or devotion to our clients.

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. Crossroads has contracted with an independent accounting firm in Sioux City to assist in the investigation and client reimbursement process. We expect to have the accounting required to reimburse all clients affected soon. Additionally, we've been working with our compliance attorney and financial institutions to develop best practices and policies and greater fiduciary controls.

Crossroads continues to be dedicated in helping individuals reach their fullest potential at home, at work and in the community. Our clients have always been and will remain at the forefront of everything we do. We appreciate your patience and ongoing support with this matter. 

Crossroad says a financial audit is underway in the wake of these theft discoveries. 

9 Investigates has learned that Sembach-Preston allegedly used the money she stole to help her pay rent, buy furniture, and clothing, as well as fund travel and dining out.

Sembach-Preston has been released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. 
 

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PREVIOUS: Police arrested a Sioux City woman for stealing from her clients that she was responsible for. 

According to court documents, from February 2015 through April 2017, Lisa Sembach-Preston, 48, of Sioux City, was the assigned care provider for 19 disabled adults and was responsible for their bank accounts and financial matters. 

During her time as a care provider, it is alleged that she stole money to use for herself. Documents reviewed by KCAU 9 show that she is accused of stealing a total of at least $36,000. She also allegedly transferred money between all of her clients to prevent from being overdrawn.

She was arrested Wednesday for three counts of Theft 4th, three counts of Theft 3rd, 13 counts of Theft 2nd, and 19 counts of Dependent Adult Abuse. She is housed in the Woodbury County Jail and is being held on a $50,000 bond.

She is scheduled to appear in court again on November 13. 

The Sioux City Police Department issued the below release regarding the incident:

In May of 2017, the Sioux City Police Department began an investigation into a potential Financial Exploitation of several disabled dependent adults.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Lisa Sembach-Preston, 48, of Sioux City was arrested and charged with 19 felony counts of Dependent Adult Abuse (financial exploitation), 13 counts of 2nd Degree Theft, 3 counts of 3rd Degree Theft, and 3 counts of 4th Degree Theft.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Sembach-Preston had previously worked at Crossroads of Western Iowa.

Crossroads of Western Iowa issued the below release regarding the theft:

An incident occurred that has affected some of our program clients in our Sioux City service area. An alleged misappropriation of client funds by a former Crossroads employee has been discovered. Crossroads has been working with the Sioux City Police Department concerning a full investigation and an arrest has been made.

Our utmost concern throughout the investigation has been the wellbeing and monetary reimbursement of those program clients directly affected by this situation. Crossroads has a strong history and reputation of providing services to empower adults with disabilities and serious mental illness. We are saddened to discover that an ex-employee did not share the same value system or devotion to our clients.

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. Crossroads has contracted with an independent accounting firm in Sioux City to assist in the investigation and client reimbursement process. We expect to have the accounting required to reimburse all clients affected soon. Additionally, we've been working with our compliance attorney and financial institutions to develop best practices and policies and greater fiduciary controls.

Crossroads continues to be dedicated in helping individuals reach their fullest potential at home, at work and in the community. Our clients have always been and will remain at the forefront of everything we do. We appreciate your patience and ongoing support with this matter. 

Brent Dillinger, CEO

Crossroads of Western Iowa


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