Huntingdon County PRIDE’s former executive director opted to waive his preliminary hearing on a dozen felony charges related to the alleged theft of roughly $100,000 from the charitable organization.
Adam Pfingstl, 44, of Huntingdon appeared via Zoom with his attorney Brian Manchester Thursday morning in front of Magisterial District Judge Doug Gummo.
Gummo granted the defense’s request to waive the hearing so now the case is bound for the Huntingdon County Court of Common Pleas.
Formal arraignment is currently scheduled for Thursday, March 4.
“The investigation is still ongoing and we are going to work through that process,” Huntingdon County District Attorney David Smith said following Wednesday’s court session.
“We’ll see if we can get the case resolved or if there’s going to be a trial,” the DA said.
Pfingstl, who served as executive director for eight years, is facing six charges of theft by taking and six charges of receiving stolen property.
State police at Huntingdon allege Pfingstl spent close to $100,000 from PRIDE’s coffers between April and December 2020, with some unauthorized purchases made in January 2020.
Police say the money was spent on lottery tickets, online gaming and Amazon purchases.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, First National Bank notified PRIDE Dec. 11 about suspected fraudulent transactions involving the organization’s accounts.
In response, PRIDE’s board of directors conducted an audit, allegedly revealing a series of thefts.
Police say the misappropriated funds, which total $98,142.32, break down as follows:
— $59,050 in Pennsylvania Lottery purchases between Oct. 13 and Dec. 11
— $11,750 to NYX Digital Gaming USA between April 26 and Nov. 10
— $6,057.89 in unauthorized Amazon purchases between April 20 and Dec. 11
— $5,180 in unauthorized ATM withdrawals between April 21 and Dec. 6
— $10,811.87 in various unauthorized charges and purchases between Jan. 1 and Dec. 9
— $5,292.56 in unauthorized Paypal transfers and charges between Nov. 1 and Nov. 21
Pfingstl was relieved of his duties by the PRIDE board Dec. 11 and charges were filed by state police Dec. 15. He is currently free on $100,000 bail.
Huntingdon County PRIDE, at 1301 Mount Vernon Ave. in Smithfield Township, evolved out of the county’s Easter Seals chapter and provides a variety of programs — including speech therapy, Early Intervention, occupational therapy, equipment loans and more — that enable people who are developmentally and/or physically disabled to function at their optimal level.
One hundred percent of each dollar contributed to PRIDE remains in Huntingdon County. A significant portion of PRIDE’s annual operating budget is generated though its four-day telethon.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.