S. Edward Marder was told in 2003 that he was paying too much for nursing services, Marder's former accountant testified.
Michael Cottle said he believed the most flagrant extravagance was found in the salary Marder paid his former head nurse, Mary Williams.
Williams, 70, of Reno, Nev., is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person and criminal neglect of an elderly person for allegedly draining Marder's bank accounts while in his employ.
Cottle said he was Marder's accountant for many years and helped supervise the trust accounts that held Marder's estimated $40 million wealth.
Prosecutors say Williams, who was one of six nurses employed by Marder between 1999 and 2005, gradually took control of some of Marder's financial duties and supervised other nurses at the Highland Park house.
Cottle said he told Marder his nursing expenses were excessive for his particular medical needs.
Prosecutors say records show Williams went from making just over $100,000 in 1999 to $459,000 in 2004.
Marder also gave Williams gifts of money, Cottle said, sometimes as much as $17,000 over a year.
Testimony in the trial, which is being heard by Associate Judge George Bridges, is expected to resume later this month.
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Man Was Warned He Was Paying Too Much for Nurses