Public Safety

Police: Iowa City woman took $650,000 intended for father after mother's death

Edith Hora
Edith Hora

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City woman is accused of taking more than $650,000 intended for her father the day her mother died, police said.

Josefina H. Sexton, the mother of Edith H. Hora, died Sept. 14, 2016. Hora, 56, withdrew $653,480 from Sexton’s checking account and transferred it to her personal checking account, according to an Iowa City police criminal complaint.

Sexton’s will decreed that 70 percent of the money was intended for the primary beneficiary, Hora’s father, Marion Sexton.

Judy Morrison, Hora’s half-sister, and Morrison’s husband, Tim, said the deception was uncovered by their attorney in 2017. The couple said they knew Hora did not intend to execute the will as it was written.

“The story had always been, ‘We get the cash, you guys get the farm,’ ” Tim Morrison quoted Hora as saying. “We said, ‘That’s not in the will.’ We’ve been begging them to execute the will the proper way, and they said, ‘No, we’re not going to.’ ”

The Morrisons said Marion Sexton received about $1 million from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for a lifetime lease on his Riverside farm in 2010.

Police said Hora was not an account owner on her mother’s bank account and did not have the authority to withdraw the funds. Hora commingled the money she took from her mother’s bank account with other accounts she controlled and also transferred more than $200,000 to her husband’s trucking business, police said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Marion Sexton moved to Arizona to be closer to the Morrisons and died in June without the matter being resolved.

“I hate to say it, but I hope she gets punished,” Judy Morrison said. “And I hope she gets more than a slap on the hand and a couple months in jail.”

A warrant for Hora’s arrest was issued July 5 and served Monday, according to court records. Hora faces one count of a first-degree theft, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

• Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.