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Pastor's wife will have record expunged

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002

The wife of former West Mifflin pastor W. Michael Altman agreed Monday to enter into a program that will expunge her criminal record in connection with a phony investment scheme that bilked members of her husband's former congregation.

Jacalyn Altman, 47, yesterday accepted the prosecution's offer for her to enter the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program, which normally includes a probationary period and also can include other sanctions, such as a requirement that restitution be made.

Jacalyn Altman faces 24 months' probation and must pay $10,000 in restitution, Mike Manko, communications director with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office, said.

She was scheduled to go on trial Sept. 16 on charges of theft by deception and criminal conspiracy. W. Michael Altman was sentenced in June to four to eight years in prison and 20 years' probation for duping investors, mostly members of the former Grace Christian Ministries, out of $355,553.

Two months ago Jacalyn Altman rejected an offer to enter the special probation program, offered to first-time offenders. Criminal records are expunged under the program if conditions are met. Even the arrest record — which typically remains on file regardless of the eventual verdict — is removed.

Vincent Murovich, Jacalyn Altman's attorney, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

W. Michael Altman, 48, former pastor of Grace Christian Ministries, earlier this year pleaded no contest to 102 counts, including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, violations of the Pennsylvania Securities Act and two counts of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Investigators said Jacalyn Altman conspired with her husband to put a deceased investor's certificate of deposit in their checking account and then wrote numerous checks to pay off their debts.

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