Yankton Man Pleads Not Guilty In VFW Case

A Yankton man is scheduled for a September trial after pleading not guilty to alleged embezzlement from VFW Post 791 of Yankton.

Colin Reisner appeared Thursday in First Circuit Court for his arraignment. He has been charged with one count of grand theft of $100,000-500,000. The Class 3 felony carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and a $30,000 fine.

Reisner entered the plea before Judge Cheryle Gering in First Circuit Court at Yankton. A motions hearing has been set for Sept. 3, with a jury trial scheduled for Sept. 13.

He appeared with his attorney, Luci Youngberg, in making the plea. The prosecution was represented by Tyler Larsen from the Yankton County state’s attorney’s office.

Reisner initially faced a Class 4 felony of grand theft of $5,000-100,000. The Class 4 felony carried a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine.

Based on new information, the charge was upgraded to the Class 3 felony. The more serious charge reflects an apparently larger amount for the alleged grand theft.

Reisner had served as the VFW Post’s quartermaster, or treasurer, during the time of the alleged theft of funds. Dan Klimisch has since replaced him as the new quartermaster.

Under the charges, Reisner allegedly took money from Ernest Bowyer VFW Post 791 between Aug. 21, 2017, and April 14, 2021. He allegedly admitted to embezzling funds to spend on video lottery and said no other persons were involved with the taking of funds, according to court documents.

During a meeting last month, VFW Post Commander Bill Rueppel informed members that the post had little money and had unpaid bills. An impromptu collection that night raised $8,000 to re-open the post, which had been closed for more than a year because of the pandemic.

The meeting came just ahead of the post’s 100th anniversary of its charter. The post received additional donations and held a soft re-opening and celebration May 14 for its centennial.

Post 791 has re-opened for its members and the general public.

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