Yankton Man Sentenced For Role in VFW Embezzlement Case

Yankton Man Sentenced For Role in VFW Embezzlement Case

A Yankton man charged with embezzling over a quarter of a million dollars from the local VFW Post will spend eight years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

37-year-old Colin Reisner appeared in Yankton County Circuit Court Monday morning for his sentencing. Circuit Judge Cheryle Gehring sentenced Reisner to fifteen years in the state pen, with seven of those years suspended.

Reisner admitted that he took approximately 283,000 dollars from the VFW Post 791 in Yankton. Reisner had served as the VFW Post’s quartermaster, or treasurer, during the time of the alleged theft of funds.

According to court documents, Reisner took money from Ernest Bowyer VFW Post 791 between August of 2017 and April of 2021.

Nearly three hours of emotional testimony was delivered to the court on both sides, some on behalf of the VFW and some on behalf of Mr. Reisner.

Current VFW Commander Bill Rueppel asked for the maximum fifteen-year jail sentence in this case, saying that “the victims are our veterans, you nearly closed our post after one hundred years.”

Mr. Reisner’s oldest daughter Hailey was one of the individuals who spoke for her father. She questioned that “in all those years, where were the audits that could have stopped this (embezzlement) after a year?”

Ultimately, Judge Gehring told the packed emotional courtroom that she spent more time on this case in her ten years as a judge than any other case with the exception of a couple murder trials. Gehring said “my job is to make sure you are never put in a place of trust (of money) again.”

In addition to the eight years, Gehring ordered Reisner to pay back the full restitution amount plus court costs and attorney fees.