Lawyer accused of stealing $2.3 million from Oak Park couple
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter August 29, 2013 1:09PM
Updated: August 29, 2013 9:40PM
A veteran suburban attorney who paid to host a radio show on WIND AM stole $2.3 million from an Oak Park couple, federal prosecutors said.
Kathleen Niew, 57, of Burr Ridge, was given the cash by the couple to pay for closings on real estate but instead secretly used it to fund a mining business, it’s alleged.
Niew’s law license was suspended in May after the couple complained about her actions to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
The couple — Jamal and Leda Khoudry — originally filed a lawsuit in DuPage County last year, alleging the theft, court records show.
Now the U.S. Attorneys Office is backing the allegation, saying Niew falsely told the Khoudrys their cash was in an escrow account, and that Niew later claimed the money had been transferred out of the account by mistake.
Niew was arrested Thursday and was later freed after posting a $50,000 bond.
Her website describes her as being “respected nationally for achievements and fundamental values,” and says she was named the Republican Businesswoman of the Year in 2005.
Niew also is an author whose book, “Money-keeping for Modern Times,” was published in 2004. Until earlier this year she hosted a Saturday morning radio program called “Earn It, Keep It, Grow It,” on AM 560.
If convicted she faces up to 20 years in prison.