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BLOOMINGTON — A DeWitt County woman facing sentencing in federal court for embezzling more than $400,000 from her employer is accused of stealing a crystal vase from a Normal retailer.

Veronica Luster was charged with retail theft in connection with a July 21 shoplifting incident at Von Maur. According to charges, Luster took a Waterford crystal vase without paying for it.

The 48-year-old suspect was released on a $1,500 personal recognizance bond.

In March, Luster pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois to wire fraud and mail fraud charges accusing her of taking more than $400,000 from the Clinton medical practice where she worked as office manager.

A Sept. 1 sentencing hearing is set in federal court in Springfield. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The federal charges were filed in 2015 after financial discrepancies were found at the medical practice previously owned by Dr. Farrukh Kureishy. Luster allegedly used money from the business where she worked for about 10 years to pay for personal items, including designer clothing, travel, vacations and credit card bills.

The doctor, who is now affiliated with Family Medicine Clinic at Warner Hospital & Health Services in Clinton, has filed a lawsuit against Luster. The pending lawsuit seeks more than $600,000 the doctor claims the practice lost during Luster's tenure.

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Reporter

Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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