Former president of Elmhurst church charged with stealing donations

Bond has been set for the former parish president of the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church who is charged with stealing about $700 from church donations.

Peter Barkoulies, 68, of the 1200 block of Ashley Lane, Addison, appeared at a bond hearing Feb. 3 where Judge Margaret O’Connell set bond at $100,000, according to a DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office news release.

Barkoulies has been charged with four counts of burglary to a place of worship, authorities said.

Located inside the church is a memorial table where parishioners insert money through a slot as a donation to the church. It is alleged that on four occasions between Dec. 8, 2022, and Jan. 25, 2023, Barkoulies, who served as parish president from 2019-2021, accessed the money slot in the memorial table using a key he had received when he was parish president but never returned at the end of his term, as required, according to the release.

It is alleged that Barkoulies stole about $700 from the church. Barkoulies’ alleged thefts were discovered when church officials grew suspicious of missing funds from the memorial table. After an investigation by Elmhurst police, Barkoulies was taken into custody Feb. 2.

“The allegations against Mr. Barkoulies are very disheartening,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release. “As parish president, Mr. Barkoulies was entrusted with the well-being of the parish. He allegedly betrayed that trust by treating the parish’s memorial table as his own personal piggy bank. I thank authorities at St. Demetrious for bringing this matter to the attention of law enforcement.”

“Mr. Barkoulies’ alleged betrayal of trust to this religious institution is very disappointing,” Elmhurst Chief of Police Michael McLean said. “However, the church community should be thankful for the proactive cooperation between church leadership, the Elmhurst Police Department and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office to stop these thefts from continuing and bring the individual allegedly responsible to justice.”

Barkoulies’ next court appearance is scheduled for March 1 for arraignment.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

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