WHEATON, Ill. - Police are asking for the public’s help finding a man charged with running a phony charity for veterans after he failed to show up for a court date this week.
Judge George J. Bakalis revoked Todd Olshefski’s $10,000 bail and issued a no-bond arrest warrant after he failed to appear in court for a 9 a.m. hearing Monday on a felony charge of misusing charitable funds, according to Wheaton police and DuPage County court records.
Olshefski, 50, and his wife, 60-year-old Priscilla Olshefski, were arrested May 2 after a 10-month investigation into the Veteran’s Christian Network, a not-for-profit organization they created claiming to raise money for veterans, police and DuPage County prosecutors said.
The investigation began after Wheaton police received numerous complaints about the Olshefskis’ “aggressive soliciting tactics, intimidation and concerns surround the legitimacy of VCN as a not-for-profit organization,” police said.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office filed a lawsuit against VCN earlier this year, alleging the couple withdrew at least $10,000 from the charity’s account to spend on personal expenses including rent, car payments and veterinary bills for their dog.
A judge settled the suit by ruling against the charity and ordering it to cease operations after the defendants failed to show up to multiple court hearings, the state’s attorney’s office said.
Priscilla Olshefski pleaded guilty July 29 to a felony count of use of charitable trust funds for personal benefit, prosecutors said. She was sentenced to 170 days in jail.
Anyone with information about Todd Olshefski is asked to call Wheaton Police Detective Lt. Bill Cooley at 630-260-2077.