Embezzler to serve her 2015 sentence in Fairview Twp. case

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A former Fairview Township bookkeeper who avoided prison for nearly three years after being sentenced for embezzling about $85,000 must now serve her sentence, a York County judge ruled.

Nancy Marie Rittman, formerly known as Nancy Haas, was ordered to surrender herself at York County Prison no later than 5 p.m. Friday, May 4, according to court records.

Nancy Rittman, formerly Nancy Haas, embezzled more than $80,000 from her former Fairview Township employer.

Her defense attorney, Joseph Caraciolo, had filed a motion asking that her prison sentence be modified to house arrest, arguing that Rittman is suffering from serious medical issues.

Presiding Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner denied the motion on Thursday, May 3, according to court records.

"We were disappointed that the judge denied our request ... and are concerned, based on her serious medical conditions, that she could receive a different level of care in prison than she's receiving from her specialist now," Caraciolo told The York Dispatch.

Rittman — formerly of Camp Hill and now of Bellmawr, New Jersey — was convicted in March 2015 of a third-degree felony count of theft.

In May 2015, Bortner sentenced her to six to 23 months in York County Prison plus five years of probation, and he ordered her to pay $84,294 in restitution to her former boss, Jason Piper.

Free on appeal: But at Caraciolo's request, the judge agreed to allow Rittman to remain free on bail while she appealed her conviction so she could care for her special-needs child.

In November 2017, the state Superior Court affirmed Rittman's conviction, court records state. It was later that month that the defense filed the sentence-modification motion that the judge ruled on Thursday.

During the 2015 sentencing hearing, Piper called Rittman a "ruthless, calculating thief ... (who used) my business and savings accounts as her personal cash cow."

Also at that hearing, Piper lamented the fact that he'd been warned "she'll probably get a slap on the wrist," and that he likely would never see much of the restitution she owes him.

Jurors determined Rittman stole the money while working as a part-time bookkeeper for Myndsi Design and MediaLion, businesses that were located on Yorktowne Road and owned by Piper.

The thefts happened between January 2008 and March 2010, according to Fairview Township Police.

Rittman quit her job sometime after breaking off a romantic relationship with Piper, trial testimony revealed.

'Tormented': In 2015, Piper said he was tormented by the idea that he'd been living in his mother's basement for four years while Rittman lived in a nice home and took vacations.

"Everything I've worked for in my life has vanished," he said. "I'm rebuilding my life from scratch," albeit at minimum wage and with no savings.

The judge acknowledged the embezzlement "virtually wiped (Piper) out financially."

Fairview Township Police Chief Jason Loper expressed frustration that it took years to get the case to court and that Rittman has shown no remorse.

Caraciolo said Rittman maintains the money she took was owed to her for her work at the two companies.

Tax money: Police said some of the money Rittman stole was tax money withheld from employees of the companies, which she should have forwarded to federal, state and local tax agencies.

That left Piper on the hook with the Internal Revenue Service, prosecutors have said.

He only found out about his IRS issues when the federal agency levied his bank accounts for what he owed. 

Piper also lost his sales-tax license, which was revoked because of his outstanding IRS debt, prosecutors said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.