A pretrial conference has been set for a former DePauw University student accused of stealing a credit card from a sorority sister and running up over $1,000 worth of unauthorized charges.
Brittany E. Schmall, 21, is facing one count of Class D felony theft and nine counts of Class D felony fraud in connection with the incident. She allegedly stole the card and used it for several weeks. Schmall has pled not guilty to all charges, and she was released from jail on her own recognizance. She will have a pretrial conference on Jan. 16, and if she chooses to proceed to a jury trial that will happen on Feb. 24 or May 5.
Each charge could net Schmall three years in jail.
The card Schmall is accused of using fraudulently was issued in the name of the father of one of Schmall's sorority sisters at Alpha Chi Omega and was reported stolen on April 13, 2007. The victim alleges the card was taken from her room at the sorority house, court documents said.
The alleged victim told authorities she had found a receipt with her name signed on it, but not in her handwriting, on Schmall's desk, and that she later saw several more receipts bearing the last four digits of her credit card number. The alleged victim obtained copies of signed receipts from local businesses where Schmall is alleged to have used the stolen card, court documents said.
Several other members of Alpha Chi Omega were interviewed. Some said they had seen receipts with the victim's forged signature in Schmall's wallet; others said they had been shopping with Schmall and the items listed on receipts bearing the victim's credit card number and forged signature matched items Schmall had purchased.
The unauthorized charges on the victim's card were made between Feb. 2, 2007 and March 22, 2007 at several shops and stores, including Wal-Mart, Ann Taylor Loft, Vera Bradley, Old Navy, Victoria's Secret, Bright Futures, Fine Print Bookstore and Treasures on the Square. Items purchased included clothing, jewelry, paper products and food.
Several of Schmall's sorority sisters told authorities that Schmall had a history of taking things in the house that didn't belong to her, including clothing, jewelry and money, court documents said. One sister said she believes Schmall also used her car without permission on one occasion.
Schmall left DePauw in the spring of 2007 and returned to her parents' home in Portage, Mich., court documents said. Matt Demmings of the DePauw Office of Public Safety spoke to Schmall by phone on April 19, 2007, and he told Schmall she needed to meet with him in regard to the investigation when she returned to campus.
Schmall told Demmings she was undergoing treatment for depression, court documents said.
A warrant for Schmall's arrest was issued on Sept. 25, 2007. She first appeared in Putnam County Superior Court on Nov. 24. She is being represented by Greencastle attorney Sidney Tongret.