Bethlehem woman charged with a hate crime after stealing money

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BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A woman from South Bethlehem faces multiple charges after Bethlehem police say she stole $53,121.86 from a 96-year-old victim.

Bethlehem Police were contacted by the family of a 96-year-old man who died in February of 2019. The family was concerned after reviewing his estate after he passed away. An investigation revealed Denise Houghtaling, of South Bethlehem, who was a caretaker for the victim before his death, had stolen $53,121.86 from the victim’s accounts. 

Houghtaling was charged with felony counts of Grand Larceny in the 2nd degree as a hate crime, as well as Identity Theft and Falsifying Business Records. 

According to the Bethlehem Police Department, the Grand Larceny was charged as a hate crime because Houghtaling specifically targeted an elderly victim.

Houghtaling appeared before the Bethlehem Town Court and was released, she will have to return to court on November 17.

The Police ask that anyone who may have used the services of Houghtaling to give them a call at this number: 518-439-9973.

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