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Lannon man accused of stealing his sister-in-law's life savings

Aug. 5, 2014

A 35-year-old Lannon man stands accused of using his sister-in-law's debit card to make several unauthorized purchases and depriving the woman of her life savings.

Chad Unferth was charged on Thursday, July 31, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with three felony counts of identity theft and one count of misdemeanor theft.

Unferth could spend a little more than 19 years in prison and owe $40,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Unferth stole the victim's debit card and used it to buy tires for his parents' car in April 2013. Unferth apparently owed his parents some money and claimed he had the victim's permission to make the purchase.

Unferth then allegedly made three trips to a grocery store later that same day and spent nearly $700 on various items, all without his sister-in-law's consent.

The victim also told police in the complaint that Unferth had previously stolen her car and sold it to someone else, and that he had been borrowing tens of thousands of dollars from her, promising to pay back the money when he received an inheritance from his dead grandfather.

Unferth's mother said there was no such inheritance, according to the complaint.

Unferth, when he spoke to police about the incidents, said he was in the process of paying back his sister-in-law about $50,000 he owed her and had signed numerous promissory notes documenting this intent, according to the complaint.

Waukesha Judge Jennifer Dorow issued a $5,000 arrest warrant for Unferth the same day the charges against him were filed.

A court date for the case will not be set until Unferth is in police custody.

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