Ex-Mt. Pleasant Township church treasurer accused of stealing $150K, spending funds on porn site

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The longtime treasurer of a Mt. Pleasant Township church was arrested this week after admitting to state troopers he stole at least $150,000 from church coffers and spent a large portion of the money on a pornographic website, according to court records. Glenn E. Yothers, 56, of Unity, is charged with theft by deception and theft by unlawful taking in connection with writing $150,606 to himself from accounts of St. Paul Lutheran Church, which is located in the village of Trauger. State police said the transactions occurred between 2015-19.

Yothers, who served as church treasurer for 12 years, was initially approached about two years ago by church council members who were concerned that bills were not getting paid and deposits were not being made into church accounts in a timely manner, Trooper Robert Politowski reported.

“At one point, the utilities of the church were shut off and the church almost shut down due to Yothers not paying bills,” Politowski wrote in court documents.

When initially approached by church council about numerous checks written to himself, Yothers denied any wrongdoing, claiming “he was paying church bills from his personal bank account and was simply reimbursing himself,” Politowski said.

Troopers reported Yothers, who kept all the church’s financial records including checks at his Ridgeway Road home, was eventually removed as treasurer after the church’s troubles continued.

A recent audit of available financial records by the church from February 2015 through Dec. 5, 2019 showed that Yothers allegedly deposited $150,606 from church accounts into his personal account, according to court documents.


When troopers interviewed Yothers on Jan. 21, he said that the church was “initially low on funds” and he would use his personal account to pay church bills and the church would later reimburse him.

When troopers questioned numerous payments he made from his debit card to a website, “Flirt for Free,” Yothers said the donations were not to an organized charity but “to individual people” on the website.

“Yothers was asked if this was a pornographic website, and Yothers confirmed it was. Yothers stated he got to know some of these people well enough where he was trying to help those people,” Politowski reported. “Yothers stated he started this with the best intentions because he wanted to help people, but it snowballed out of control.”

Politowski said Yothers admitted to spending much “of the church’s missing money on the ‘Flirt for Free’ website or its participants.”

Yothers also told troopers he was lonely at home during the day while his wife was at work.

An official who was at the rural church Tuesday declined to identify himself but said the church council was slated to meet on the issue that evening. He refused further comment. The church states on its website that St. Paul is among the oldest congregations in Westmoreland County and a member congregation of the North American Lutheran Church.

A person who answered the door at Yothers’ home Tuesday said he was not available for comment.

Yothers’ private attorney, Michael Garofalo of Greensburg, declined comment.

Yothers was released on signature bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 24.

 
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