Pennsylvania Couple Accused Of Stealing $1.2M from Church For Walt Disney Vacations And Pittsburgh Pirates Tickets
A trusted Pennsylvania church administrator and his wife are accused of stealing around $1.2 million from the church. The Pennsylvania couple used the cash on Disney vacations, sporting events, and restaurants, officials said.
David Reiter had allegedly been stealing the funds from the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair for nearly 17 years.
Head Pastor Jim Gilchrist learned of the alleged fraud in November 2018. Gilchrist discovered Reiter had impersonated an auditor.
As a result, Gilchrist confronted Reiter. Reiter then told Gilchrist he needed to resign because he did some “bad things.”
Reiter also confessed to stealing $500,000 to $530,000 from the church over a period of 10 to 12 years. He claimed he needed, “to make things better at home.”
Reiter later admitted to taking an additional $100,000 from the Early Childhood Education Programs. The programs are separate entities located in the basement of the church.
Investigators later determined Reiter stole closer to $1,227,423. Reiter transferred funds from the church’s bank account into his personal one.
David and Connie Reiter used the extra cash on a multitude of personal endeavors. The Reiters used the cash for trips to Walt Disney and Hershey Park. They also used the money for music lessons for their children and scrapbooking materials. In addition, they also used the money for Pittsburgh Pirates tickets.
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David Reiter was charged with 10 counts on Tuesday including theft, forgery and receiving stolen property.
Connie Reiter faces two counts of receiving stolen property. Prosecutors say she was a willing participant in the scheme by taking part in more than $900,00 of that theft.
Connie Reiter posted $5,000 bail. Yet, David Reiter remained in Allegheny County jail as of Thursday afternoon. David Reiter needs to post bail in the amount of $50,000.
The couple faces a preliminary hearing on Feb. 28th.
The Westminster Presbyterian Church did not immediately respond. However, the church did respond to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.