The former president of a fraternity’s home association at Northwestern University is accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the association’s account.
Peter Schellenbach, 77, was charged with a class 1 felony count of theft for allegedly stealing $460,000 from the Sigma Chi Home Association while he was its president from 2006 to 2012, the office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a statement.
Schellenbach, of north suburban Glencoe, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Cook County Circuit Court, the attorney general’s office said. The charge is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Schellenbach allegedly transferred the fraternity’s money to his personal account, the attorney general’s office said. He allegedly used more than $267,000 to fund an Iraqi investment account with Sterling Currency Group, whose owners were convicted of fraud in federal court in 2018. Schellenbach lost all of Sigma Chi’s money he had invested.
He also used Sigma Chi’s money for personal expenses, including online trading websites, credit cards and the Chicago Yacht Club, the attorney general’s office said. When board members asked Schellenbach about the missing money, he allegedly said the withdrawals — some as large as $70,000 — were loans he would repay.
According to circuit court records, Schellenbach was initially charged in February 2012 in a criminal complaint. He is due in court again on July 10.