Ex-cop, John Masciotti, accused of stealing thousands from Berks FOP, club

Former officer arrested last year in theft from department's fund

Ex-cop accused of stealing thousands from FOP, club

READING, Pa. - A former police officer, who's already accused of pocketing money from a fund within his own police department, is now in more trouble with the law.

John Masciotti was free on bail Thursday on charges he stole $92,820 from the Fraternal Order of Police Berks Lodge 71 and its social club, The Pig Pen in Muhlenberg Township.

Masciotti, a former officer with the Lower Heidelberg Township Police Department, served as treasurer of the organization, being the sole person in charge of its finances, officials said.

The alleged theft was discovered in 2012 when the FOP's president, Joe Brown, a detective with the West Reading Police Department, learned that the organization's funds were inexplicably lower than they should be.

A subsequent investigation revealed Masciotti, as treasurer, took the money from the FOP's accounts while thousands of dollars worth of the organization's bills went unpaid, according to court documents.

"It's difficult to see one of our own be arrested for breaking the very laws that we have sworn to uphold," Brown said. "It doesn't matter if you a police officer or citizen, if you break the law, you should be prosecuted and justice should be served."

Masciotti, 42, of Lower Heidelberg Township, was charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. He was released on $100,000 unsecured bail.

Masciotti was charged last July in an unrelated theft of $4,900 from the Lower Heidelberg Township Health and Welfare Police Fund. He later returned the money, officials said.

At the time, Masciotti's attorney, Allan Sodomsky, said he didn't believe there was any criminal intent and/or conduct on his client's part.

Some of Masciotti's acquaintances told investigators he is a heavy gambler with a large debt, according to court documents.

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