Cudahy woman scams neighbors out of nearly $55,000

Shannon Sims

Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Cudahy woman scams neighbors out of nearly $55,000

CREATED Oct. 31, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct. 31, 2013

CUDAHY- Doug Cousert is not surprised to learn his neighbors are the giving type.

"Here in Cudahy everyone has a big heart," says Doug Cousert.

And it was that giving spirit that police say Nicole Leer took advantage of - to bilk her neighbors out of $54,677.

"There are wonderful people in this neighborhood, there really are, but gosh that's a lot of money," says Mary Kilpatrick.

The web of lies started in February when detectives say Leer told one neighbor her husband was dying of throat cancer and needed money for chemo, surgery, and then money to bury him.

But there is more - a daughter who supposedly died in a motorcycle crash. An 85-year-old woman forked over $26,000 to help Leer.

"To know that someone targets the elderly and takes money from people like that makes me really really ill."

Court documents say the 35-year-old didn't stop there. She hit up three more neighbors telling them not only was her husband sick, she was about to be evicted.

One of her victims even took out a payday loan to help dig Leer out of debt.

But the house of cards all came down when those trusting neighbors became suspicious - noticing her dead husband was alive.

"The fact that some scum sit there, take people for granted and use them... I wish they were out of the city. "

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