DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin and Wheaton Chief of Police William Murphy announced today that bond has been set for a Lombard couple charged with stealing funds from a not-for-profit agency intended to aid United States veterans. Todd Olshefski, 50, and his wife Priscilla, 60, both of 444 E. Roosevelt Road, appeared at a bond hearing on the morning of Friday, May 3 where Judge George Bakalis set bond at $10,000 with 10% to apply for both defendants. Each defendant has been charged with one count of Unlawful Use of Charitable Funds, a Class 2 Felony. At approximately 2 p.m., Thursday, May 2, the Olshefskis were taken into custody and charged after failing to appear in court on an unrelated matter.

The charges against the Olshefskis stem from a ten-month investigation, conducted by the Wheaton Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, into reports of the couple’s aggressive solicitation tactics and alleged use of intimidation. There were also concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the agency created by the Olshefskis, known as the Veterans Christian Network (VCN), as a not-for-profit organization. It is alleged that the funds solicited by the defendants and donated to the VCN were being used by the Olshefskis to pay personal expenses including rent, car payments, insurance and a veterinary bill for their dog, among other things.

“What Todd and Priscilla Olshefski are accused of doing is absolutely deplorable,” Berlin said. “The residents of DuPage County have shown time and time again their generous spirit and it is certainly a shame when people take advantage of that spirit for their own personal gain, as alleged in this case.”

“The public should be reminded to be prudent when making charitable donations and should educate themselves about the organizations they support before donating,” Murphy said. “I would also urge the public to contact their local police department should solicitors become aggressive, obstruct traffic or appear illegitimate.”

The next court date for both defendants is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22, for arraignment in front of Judge Bakalis.

Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt.

 

 

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