Peter David Nitschke, Suspended Attorney Who Ripped Off Clients, Has Hissy Fit in Court

Peter-David-Nitschke_ipd-FULL.jpg
Courtesy of Irvine Police Department
Peter D. Nitschke can get much less than 12 years in prison if he ponies up $1.2 million by Aug. 8.

The restitution hearing for Peter David Nitschke sounds like it was wild. The 47-year-old suspended Newport Beach attorney and former church president--who stole more than $780,000 from nine victims, with $720,000 of that coming from two elderly sisters he met at church--reportedly lashed out at the prosecutor, his defense attorney and the judge.

Peter David Nitschke, Ex-Attorney, Church Leader and Admitted Embezzler, Gets 12 Years

Indeed, the outburst reminded me of something ...

Orange County Superior Court Judge Gary Paer already sentenced Nitschke to 12 years in state prison, but at a restitution hearing last week the judge offered to cut that term significantly if the thief paid back his victims plus interest, to the tune of $1.2 million.

As Deputy District Attorney Sean O'Brien recounted some of Nitschke's past fraud schemes, the suspended lawyer said angrily, "I object to this. I can go on ad hominem attacks too. Mr. O'Brien is an ass and Ms. Kelly is incompetent."

That would be Stacy Kelly, Nitschke's attorney from the Orange County Public Defender's office. But he was not done there, saying Judge Paer needed to grant more phone time in jail so Nitschke can arrange with a benefactor to provide the $1.2 million for the victims.

It got so heated, observed City News Service's reporter in the courtroom Paul Anderson, that a bailiff positioned himself next to Nitschke.

Paer, explaining he wanted to give the victims one more chance to get their money back, gave Nitschke a "drop dead" Aug. 8 deadline to produce the money.

"I heard from those victims," the judge said. "Their lives got screwed up because of your felonies. They would do anything to get their money back."

Nitschke, whose law office was in Irvine, had wiped out the life savings of the elderly sisters he met as president of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Laguna Woods, where he often solicited clients from the congregation.

Despite Paer extending the deadline, the judge did not sound too confident Nitschke will come through.

"I would be stunned if the money shows up," said the judge, adding "maybe this case can make history."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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24 comments
jog2beach
jog2beach

Isn't there something unseemly about the court reducing the sentence if a defendant pays up? I understand trying to get some money back for these poor elderly women, but he pleaded guilty and should be punished accordingly.

As for this purported loan, that is ridiculous. Who would hire a convicted felon? What special skills does he have that an employer would want him? It sounds like there might be some assets stashed with the relatives, possibly in the form of a family interest in Red River Valley farmland. Perhaps, the claimants should be looking into that to try to get their money back.

Ro Ar
Ro Ar

Newport Beach corrupt lawyer? No surprise.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Typical Christian Values

Jeff Rey
Jeff Rey

time to make religions pay fair share of taxes!

taidodinh
taidodinh

now n day everyone want make fast moneys but at the end jail that where they end up 

Still Here
Still Here

Church business is BIG business. Prick.

Darren Stuart
Darren Stuart

Us in the UK call people like this 'fucking heartless wankers'.

Jason Williams
Jason Williams

But, but, but they're MEN OF GOD!!! Surely they would NEVER do such a thing...... :/

Josh English
Josh English

This guy wants to rip innocent ladies off, and pretend to be godly, and then cries about it, when the judge hands his ass to him?! LMAO! :v

John Hald
John Hald

Churches are such a waste of money and the people running them are worse than a waste of air. (Bring on the hate comments ;))

Jaymie Williams
Jaymie Williams

Church president? Lol \U0001f602\U0001f602 douchebag

edwardsolis00
edwardsolis00

He should have stuck to 7.40 an hour.

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