Former business administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church sentenced on tax charges

 

Date: April 6, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Pittsburgh, PA — A former resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $1,407,649 to the Internal Revenue Service on charges of tax fraud, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on David Reiter, currently serving a state sentence of five to 10 years in prison. The federal sentence will be served concurrently with his state sentence.

According to the information provided to the court, beginning in and around 2011, until his termination from employment in 2018, Reiter as business administrator at Westminster Presbyterian Church located in Upper St. Clair, PA, engaged in a pattern of deception and fraud by regularly embezzling and converting to his personal use $1.2 million in funds belonging to church. The court was further informed that Reiter failed to pay over employment taxes and filed false personal income tax returns relating to the embezzlement, which materially underreported his personal income.

"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 U.S. Attorney Kaufman. "Federal tax law violations have serious consequences, which we have witnessed today."

"In his role as the Church's Business Administrator, Mr. Reiter abused his position of power by embezzling funds that could have otherwise been used by the Church to carry out their mission", said Thomas Fattorusso, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation . "By fraudulently failing to report the embezzled funds on his personal tax returns as income, Mr. Reiter violated a fundamental rule of taxes which states that gross income means all income from whatever source derived. Mr. Reiter also committed the crime of failing to pay over the employment taxes that were withheld from the employees of the Church, which is a serious offense that results in the lack of significant tax revenue to the Unites States government. IRS-CI will continue to pursue anyone who collects employment taxes and fails to remit those taxes."

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the prosecution of David Reiter.