Wife of ex-cop pleads guilty to stealing $240K from her elderly aunt

Monday October 29th 2012

The wife of a former York City police officer has pleaded guilty to one count of theft for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from her elderly aunt.

Rita L. Wynegar, 52, of 431 Dartha Drive in Dallastown, remains free pending her sentencing hearing, set for Dec. 31.

Court records indicate she must return to court on Monday. That’s because the judge has questions about the remaining unresolved charges against Wynegar, according to the state Attorney General’s Office, which is handling the case.

Those include counts of theft and forgery.

She pleaded guilty on Monday to one third-degree felony count of theft by unlawful taking, records state.

Must repay $240K: Her guilty-plea form states there is no agreed-upon sentence with prosecutors, but that both sides agreed she must pay $240,000 in restitution.

It will be up to presiding Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder to determine Wynegar’s punishment. She noted in her guilty-plea form she knows she could face up to 14 years in prison.

Her husband, Michael Wynegar, was placed on unpaid administrative leave by York City Police when authorities began investigating his wife.

Hired in 2011, he resigned from the department on Aug. 6, police officials said. Michael Wynegar faces no charges.

The background: In April 2010, the York County Area Agency on Aging notified state authorities that Lidia Coito was being financially exploited.

The agency began looking into Coito’s finances when it learned she was about to be evicted from the Brunswick at Longstown for failing to pay what she owed the Springettsbury Township personal-care home, documents state.

Coito granted Rita Wynegar, her great-niece, power of attorney in June 2002, authorities said. Initially, Rita Wynegar had assistance from a local financial-consulting firm.

Full control? But she took full control of her aunt’s finances in 2006 and in October of that year, Coito’s money began to disappear.

Police said Rita Wynegar stole $309,490.51 from Coito without the elderly woman’s knowledge or consent between October 2006 and April 2010.

Her defense attorney, K. Edward Raleigh, did not return a phone message seeking comment.

This article was written by Liz Evans Scolforo for The York Dispatch

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