UPPER SAINT CLAIR, Pa. — A couple is accused of stealing more than $1 million from a South Hills church.
According to a news release, David Reiter and his wife Connie were arrested Tuesday on charges they stole $1.2 million while he was working as church administrator for Westminster Presbyterian Church.
The thefts allegedly occurred from 2011 to 2018. He had worked there since 2001.
The lead pastor, Jim Gilchrist, told Channel 11 he trusted the Reiters and said something like this will never happen again.
"The level of trust in Dave Reiter was so great, even when they saw problems, they assumed it was somebody else’s problems," Gilchrist said.
Connie Reiter is accused of taking more than $900,000 of that money.
According to the criminal complaint, David Reiter said he stole the money to make things better at home. He also allegedly told the pastor “he ‘needed to resign’ because he had done some ‘bad things.’”
"He was an active member of the church for many years, played the keyboard in the contemporary worship service, led the staff worship services at Christmastime, so everybody trusted him," Gilchrist said.
According to police, in addition to his salary, Reiter was depositing extra money into an account that he and his wife shared.
The Reiters are accused of using the money on Pirates games, trips to Disneyland and scrapbooking materials.
"There's a tremendous amount of forethought and deception in all of this, which is a little more sad, and a sense of betrayal," Gilchrist said. "There needs to be consequences for actions. You can't take a million dollars and not have to pay some kind of consequence for that."
David Reiter is in jail; his wife has been released.
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