A 59-year-old Racine man accused of taking several thousand dollars from an elderly woman faces a felony charge that could bring a fine of $25,000 and 10 years in prison.

In addition, because the alleged crime occurred against an elderly or disabled person, a conviction against Jay A. Catapano, could add an extra $10,000 fine to the total penalty.

According to the criminal complaint by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office:

Racine Police spoke with a 92-year-old woman, who stated Catapano told her she had won $7,800 in the lottery. The woman told the officer she had loaned about $19,000 to the defendant during the past year, and indicated he told her several stories about why he needed the money. She would feel bad and loan it to him, according to the complaint.

Catapano allegedly told the victim he needed to take her to an attorney to pick up her winning check, so police arranged to track them Thursday morning. Two days earlier, the woman loaned the defendant $700, and on Thursday, she gave him an additional $140. The complaint states that at no time did Catapano take the woman to an attorney’s office.

During a traffic stop and his arrest, the defendant told police: “I owe that lady money. I don’t want any trouble. If this all goes away, I will help you out with a multi-state heroin ring.” He further stated, “She offers to give me money. She says she has it. It’s not his fault she wants to give him money.”

Catapano will be back in Racine County Circuit Court for a preliminary hearing April 11 at 9 a.m.

More stories by Racine County Eye:

DA: Burlington man had drugs, electronic weapon

Men charged with robbery involving elderly woman

Woman makes court appearance after police found her unconscious in car

Racine man charged with insurance fraud

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.