Rita Wynegar
Rita Wynegar

The wife of a former York City police officer must spend five months in prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from her elderly aunt.

Rita L. Wynegar, 52, of 431 Dartha Drive in Dallastown, must report to prison at the end of January, according to her defense attorney, K. Edward Raleigh.

On Monday, Wynegar was sentenced to five years of intensive probation, with the first five months in York County Prison and the next five months under house arrest, according to court records.

Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder also ordered Wynegar to repay Lidia Coito $240,000 and undergo mental-health and drug and alcohol evaluations, records state.

During her five months in prison, Wynegar can participate in the outmate work-release program, the judge ordered.

Apologized: "The judge's sentence today reflects her remorse, ... her community ties and her need to be at home with her family," Raleigh said. "Rita is sorry for the harm that she caused."

In court on Monday, Wynegar apologized to her aunt, her family and to the community, Raleigh said.

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 was never charged in the case.

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


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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, court documents state.

Coito granted Rita Wynegar, her great-niece, power of attorney in June 2002, authorities said.

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

-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at levans@yorkdispatch.com.