Niew pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of wire fraud, the Tribune reports. She was released after posting $50,000 bond.
The indictment comes only weeks after a hearing board of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission recommended that the author and radio host be disbarred.
“This Panel finds by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent engaged in…. misconduct as charged,” that board declared earlier in August.
Along with her husband Stanley, Niew, 57, was found partially liable in February for $2.3 million in damages to an Oak Park couple’s trust due to a failed real-estate investment. According to the suit, Niew persuaded them to transfer $2.3 million into trust accounts she managed before her firm removed the money and used those funds for their own benefit.
"As part of the alleged fraud scheme," the Trib reports. "Niew arranged to receive a 20 percent finder's fee for herself from a mining operation in exchange for providing it with about $1.5 million that belonged to her clients, the indictment states."
Niew also had her license to sell insurance revoked in February; the Chicago Tribune discovered lawsuits that "allege she improperly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from other clients and failed to disclose insurance commissions." The newspaper also discovered a $43,500 settlement paid by Niew after a bankruptcy official alleged she attempted to "hinder, delay or defraud" a client's creditors.
According to her profile on The Niew Group's website, Kathleen Niew attended Hinsdale Central High School, before the University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University College of Law.
Niew's book Money-keeping for Modern Times was published in 2004. She also hosted a radio program called "Earn It. Keep It. Grow It.”
Darren McRoy contributed to this report