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Pittsburgh Church Business Manager Sentenced in Embezzlement Case

The former business manager of a Pittsburgh church was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison April 6 on tax charges connected with a $1.2 million embezzlement case.

David Earle Reiter, 52, was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,407,649 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Reiter was indicted by a federal grand jury in September 2020 on charges that he “engaged in a pattern of deception and fraud” by taking funds from Westminster Presbyterian Church for his personal use, failed to pay employment taxes for the church, and filed false personal income tax returns that underreported his personal income.

He served as business manager for the church from 2001 until his termination in 2018.

“David Reiter embezzled more than a million dollars of church funds and used them for his own benefit, all the while committing business and personal tax fraud,” said United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman. “Federal tax law violations have serious consequences, which we have witnessed today.”

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Reiter had previously pleaded guilty to state charges in connection with the theft and is currently serving a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison. He will serve the federal sentence concurrently but will be transferred to federal custody for 30 months before returning to state prison to serve out the remainder of the sentence.

Reiter’s wife, Connie Jo Reiter, is serving three years’ probation after pleading no contest to  state charges of felony receiving stolen property and conspiracy to receive stolen property in connection with the embezzlement, per the Observer-Reporter.

She and Reiter also were ordered by the state to pay $979,406 in restitution to the church, but she filed a federal lawsuit in January claiming she should not be held responsible for the repayment, the newspaper reported.

Anne Stych

Anne Stych is a writer in Charlotte, North Carolina.