Loris Austin is facing four felony forgery charges for stealing the money between 2004 and 2011 while paying her 72-year-old neighbor’s bills.
Prosecutors say Joeann Self had authorized Austin to write checks to pay her bills, but nothing else.
The missing money was discovered in 2011 after Austin started telling Self that she didn’t have enough money for things she needed.
Self is a retired school cafeteria worker who lives off Social Security.
Austin is free on $1,500 bond, and she is scheduled to return to court for her preliminary hearing on April 10.