LONG BEACH, Calif. – A fugitive caregiver charged with stealing $4 million from an ailing elderly woman to fund a lavish lifestyle has surrendered after two years on the lam.
A $2.5 million arrest warrant was issued in 2008 for Li Ching Liu, who was charged with abuse and robbery of a 74-year-old stroke victim. Liu, who also uses the name Susan Liu, was hired in 2002 to care for the woman, who amassed a fortune through real estate investments.
Liu, 54, surrendered Tuesday in Long Beach Superior Court with her attorney, Joseph Camarata. She pleaded not guilty and was jailed. Bail was set at $2.5 million pending an Aug. 24 hearing.
Liu, who disappeared after her adult son and her boyfriend were arrested two years ago, withheld food from the victim to make her comply while Liu drained the woman's bank accounts, police Detective Stacey Holdredge said.
Liu set up more than 60 accounts at half a dozen banks and laundered more than $4 million with the help of 58-year-old boyfriend Abolfath Okhovat of Thousand Oaks and her 29-year-old son, Yun Shih of Temple City, the detective said.
Besides lavish Las Vegas gambling trips and jewelry purchases, Holdredge says the money was used to buy a Porsche sport utility vehicle and a Temple City house for Liu and her boyfriend. The money was also used to pay for Yun Shih's tuition at the University of Southern California and a BMW.
Both men are in prison after being convicted last year of financial elder abuse.