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Emmaus Diner Owner Charged with Stealing from Senior Citizen

Hristos “Chris” Dimou, owner of the Emmaus Diner, has been charged in connection with the theft of $260,000 from a senior citizen over a two-year period.

Three people, including the owner of the , were charged with allegedly stealing $260,000 from an elderly Emmaus woman, Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin said at a press conference today.

Hristos “Chris” Dimou, owner of the Emmaus Diner, his former girlfriend, Penelope Veronikis, 49, of Bethlehem, and her daughter, Barbara Paxos, 29, also of Bethlehem, were charged with criminal conspiracy and sent to Lehigh County Prison.

They are charged with bilking Queen E. Hersh, formerly of 627 W. Greenleaf St., of virtually all of her assets over a two-year period, including a Pocono vacation home they sold without Hersh's consent for $170,000, according to the official reports.

Hersh first learned that something was amiss in July 2008 when she received a foreclosure notice on her Emmaus home, which she had owned outright for 20 years.

Hersh died on Dec. 10, 2008. She was 90.

According to the DA, in 2006, Hersh, then 88, and her younger sister, Ella H. Crawford lived together at the Greenleaf Street address, which had been the home of Hersh and her late husband. Both women were childless.

Crawford worked as a hostess and waitress supervisor at the Emmaus Diner, and Hersh was retired from the Emmaus Shirt Factory.

Hersh had diabetes, a heart condition, early onset of dementia and could no longer drive. Her sister (Crawford) became Hersh’s primary caregiver, taking Hersh to doctor’s visits and ensuring that Hersh took her medications.

In May 2006 Crawford was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and expressed concerns about her sister’s future care to her boss at the Emmaus Diner, Dimou.

Two days after Crawford’s death on June 17, 2006, Veronikis, who was Dimou’s girlfriend at the time, took Hersh to a lawyer and obtained full power of attorney over Hersh.

Over the next two years, in addition to selling the vacation home, Veronikis opened credit card accounts in Hersh’s name, named herself sole beneficiary of Hersh’s life insurance policy, and withdrew cash for her personal use from Hersh’s bank accounts, funding a tummy tuck and a breast lift, among other things.

Veronikis, Dimou and Paxos turned themselves in this morning, according to reports. They were arraigned via video conference by Emmaus . Bail was set at $250,000.

Veronikis and Dimou are charged with "dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and criminal conspiracy," both first-degree felonies, as well as theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and receiving stolen property, all third-degree felonies.

They were also charged with recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor. Police allege that Veronikis and Dimou failed to get proper medical attention for Hersh.

Paxos is charged with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and receiving stolen property.

The above information was supplied by the the Emmaus Police Department and the Lehigh County District Attorney. Where arrests or charges are mentioned, it does not indicate a conviction.

An interested bystander August 18, 2011 at 09:28 PM
Stealing from an old woman is a crime not to be belittled. I know all the people involved here, and I hope this is not true. If it is, jail time is too good for them.
Paula Wittman August 18, 2011 at 09:45 PM
Completely despicable!!!
Jen Shubzda August 18, 2011 at 09:54 PM
Disgusting!
toby borrelli August 18, 2011 at 10:35 PM
they should be shot
Anita August 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Bill how can you call this "phony", take your personal agendas elsewhere. That woman was a victim of crime at the end of her life, she had serious medical conditions and onset dementia, what I am sure they thought perfect for getting away with their crimes. If you can support these criminals then you are no better.
Pat Vallese August 19, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Very Distasteful; much like the food they serve. Except, this time, I hope the courts serve them 12 years. If they can do this with a clear conscience, God only knows what happens in the kitchen. Those poor women...and I am surprised that they MAY have contributed to her death and they are calling it a misdemeanor....how about third degree manslaughter?......I'd leave a 20% tip to see that course.
Emmaus resident August 19, 2011 at 02:21 PM
Queen E. Hersh was a very kind and sweat lady she did not deserve to be taken advantage of, I am glad that thay were cought and justice is served , I miss you Queen..
Pat Vallese August 19, 2011 at 05:44 PM
The topic is how Hersh and Crawford were duped by some local crooks. Comments to the Editor should be handled thru private emails.
Diane Krier August 19, 2011 at 08:36 PM
This is truely awful...How could they have done this to such a sweet lady.I have known Queen thru my daughter and she was kind to all.How on earth could Chris look all his workers or patrons in the face after all this.?? The diner had problems away back with several patrons who use debit cards they were dbl. charging and when I tried to clear it up with Chris he wouldnt do anything when I went to my bank they informed me that they were investagating him as they had alot of complaints from customers about their cards being charged twice. Didnt he think about his 2 young daughters...?? Guess not greed was more important ...I will not go to that Diner again...they should get a long jail term and closed the diner down or sell it to pay back queen's estate....
Pat Vallese August 19, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Mr. Villa, I think YOU have already besmirched your name, just by your antics. I am getting the opinion that you have no problem with what has happened to these two fine women from the Emmaus community. Maybe you should go to the Emmaus Diner, and get a cool drink and chill............
Pat Vallese August 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM
We all know where you stand on the DA Mr. Villa......I'm more interested in your reaction to the events that stole money and dignity from these two women. I'm also requesting you STOP sending me blog links, or personal insults thru this this media's personal links. Also Mr. Richardson, if you were "Banned", you would not be able to post here, and I see you can. We don't need another off topic remark, to draw attention away from the subject.
Cheryl Saul August 20, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Thanks Pat!! I am also being contacted by him and I've asked him to cease. He still sent me more of his blogging spam.
Diane Krier August 20, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Mr. Villa PLEASE if you have issuses with the DA then take it up with him.STOP posting here and to everyone that post sent a link...This is about 2 woman who trusted Him and the others and got taken advantage of...SO GO CRY YOUR AGENDA WITH THE DA TO HIS OFFICE.....
Pat Vallese August 21, 2011 at 01:23 AM
No Lyle, I did read how you imply you were banned because of a few local business owners excerting pressure on the Editor to remove comments made by you. Banned means to prohibit a person or thing. I see you here today. I take exception to the implication of outside pressure causing your remarks to be censured. Do you and Mr. Villa drink the same cool aid?
Cheryl Saul August 21, 2011 at 01:25 AM
Lyle, this has nothing to do with someone having a difference of opinion. It has to do with someone who is what I consider to be stalking and harassing anyone who doesn't listen or believe his story. He has sent me THREE messages telling me to read his blog, Two times AFTER I asked him to stop. SOme people just don't know when they are being a pain in the you-know-where. This article is about three people who robbed a woman of her money and property. It is not a story made up to make James Martin look good. Let's all please remember the victim and stop the horse crap.
Diane Krier August 21, 2011 at 05:28 PM
WHY on earth are you letting Mr. Villa still repost the same thing over and over???...Block him if need be I am tired of seeing his posts!
Pat Vallese August 21, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Diane, This is what Dr. Demento wants; to be banned. Just do as I do. When his original post is deleted by the readers thru (Flag as Inappopriate).....just delete it from your email. He's playing Psyop Warfare.........and hurting his "cause" in the duration.
bridget October 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM
This is not right

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