50-year-old David Reiter and his 44-year-old wife Connie have been arrested for stealing $1.
2 million from their church. They spent the money on baseball tickets, Disneyland trips, and medical bills.
Reiter is accused of abusing the administrator job he has held for 18 years to take money intended for early childhood and nursery programs.
Connie is also accused of profiting from the scheme without reporting it to the police.
According to prosecutors, Reiter took the money from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania between 2011 and 2017. The 50-year-old is accused of hiding the thefts by falsifying records and impersonating audit office employees.
Over the years the funds used to pay utility and restaurant bills and to purchase groceries and scrapbooking supplies.
He even created a fake auditor who he said was working on the finances. Reiter purchased a cellphone with stolen cash that he answered while putting on a different voice if someone from the parish called.
Described as a ‘widely trusted, active member of the church,’ Reiter was exposed last year when the church’s head pastor discovered his scheme.
It is unclear what tipped head pastor Jim Gilchrist off to the thefts.
When questioned, Reiter said he stole the funds to ‘make things better at home’ before signing his resignation.
The 50-year-old then went to police and confessed. The two appeared in court where the former administrator was charged with 9 felonies and his wife Connie with two.
Connie’s bail was set at $5,000 while Reiter had bail set at $50,000. The wife had been released from jail while Reiter is still in custody.
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