Another dealer of antiques stealing from people. Then writes hot checks to hide the crime!
Monterey County District Attorney Dean D. Flippo announced today that on August 10, Michael Frank Schellhous, age 50, has pled no contest to felony grand theft by embezzlement, felony grand theft from an elderly person, and misdemeanor petty theft from an elderly person.
In 2014, Schellhous operated a consignment shop in downtown Pacific Grove by the name of Vintique Boutique. He developed a relationship of trust with many individuals in the community and encouraged them to consign jewelry, furniture, and other personal property with him. Schellhous agreed to sell these items on their behalf for a percentage of the proceeds. However, rather than abiding by this agreement, he pawned or sold the items and refused to pay the consignors or return the unsold items upon request.
After several victims persisted in seeking payment, Schellhous opened a checking account using his partner’s personal identifying information but never deposited any money into the account. He then wrote multiple checks to victims from this account as “payment,” despite his knowledge that the account had no funds. When the victims attempted to cash the checks, they were returned for non-sufficient funds and the victims incurred additional expenses. He also remained in possession of other valuables belonging to these victims, most of which he never returned.
The District Attorney’s Office identified at least five victims, three of whom were over the age of 65 at the time of the theft, and estimates that Schellhous embezzled approximately $37,000.00 worth of personal property through this scheme. On August 9, 2018, Judge Mark Hood sentenced Schellhous to four years of felony probation, 180 days in county jail, and full restitution to his victims. Judge Hood immediately remanded Schellhous into custody upon sentencing. As terms of his probation, Schellhous must not engage in any consignment business, hold any position of trust for elder adults, or possess any checks in the name of another person without the approval of his probation officer.
Vintique Boutique Owner Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges
Monterey County DA