Friday, May 3, 2019
Bond Set for Couple Accused of Using Charitable Funds for Personal Use
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 (d.o.b. 3/18/1969) and his wife Priscilla, 60 (d.o.b. 5/20/1958) both of 444 E. Roosevelt Road, appeared at a bond hearing this morning 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., yesterday afternoon, 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, with assistance from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, following numerous complaints regarding the couple’s aggressive soliciting tactics, use of intimidation and concerns surrounding the legitimacy of the agency created by the Olshefskis, the Veteran’s 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 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. I would like to thank the Wheaton Police Department for their outstanding work that allowed us to bring charges against these two defendants. I would like to thank the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for their assistance. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew Dambach for his efforts in bringing a strong prosecution against Todd and Priscilla Olshefski.”
“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 May 22, 2019, 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. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.