‘Sweetheart swindler’ accused of taking $1.2M from elderly victim

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A Chicago woman police are calling a “sweetheart swindler” is accused of deceiving an elderly man out of $1.2 million, telling him she needed the money for cancer treatments and other procedures.

Candy Ely, 35, is accused of taking the money from the 86-year-old victim over a five-year period, Illinois State Police said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Ely met the man at a restaurant and began a false romantic relationship with him, even though she was married, State Police claim.

She scammed the man out of cash and items totaling more than $1.2 million, including a car, police said. She also led the man to believe she needed the money for various medical procedures such as cancer treatments and surgery.

“The arrest of Candy Ely highlights the importance of communication between law enforcement agencies and working together in order to reduce crime in our communities,” Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz said in the statement announcing the arrest.

“Financial crimes against the elderly are an investigative priority for Illinois State Police Ruse Burglary Task Force,” Schmitz said.

Ely, of the 3400 block of West Diversey, was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop by State Police, according to law enforcement and court records.

She faces one count of felony theft by deception and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass to vehicle and aggravated assault, according to court records. She was ordered held on a $90,000 bond and will next appear in court Tuesday.

Local police from Chicago, Deerfield, Oak Brook and Hickory Hills assisted in the investigation.

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