MOUNT WASHINGTON (KDKA) — A local constable is facing charges after allegedly stealing thousands from a woman embroiled in a custody battle.
“He just took complete advantage of a desperate woman looking for help,” says victim Tiarra Reardon. She claims she’s out $3,200 after trusting Anthony Cioppa Jr., 47.
Reardon says she met Cioppa when he was her Uber driver back in March. She says Cioppa said he was a constable, so she told him she was trying to get custody of her 13-month-old son and get her brother out of jail.
Cioppa offered to help, Reardon says, so she paid him. “He has told me he was giving this money to an attorney and he was her investigator,” says Reardon.
The Karen Myers Law Office in North Versailles is where Cioppa claimed to work.
But, according to attorney Karen Myers, Cioppa has “never been employed as an investigator for our office. He’s never been employed by our office.” Myers says she told Rearden to contact the police.
Ryan Tutera is representing Cioppa. The defense attorney says Cioppa has been a constable for around 15 years — and there are two sides to every story.
“They’re merely accusations,” Tutera says. “I think that her version of what happened is a little bizarre. My client does, in fact, work as an Uber driver. Why would she spill her guts about her personal life to an Uber driver?”
Reardon says she’s glad she kept the receipts after she gave Cioppa cash on the several occasions he visited her home.
At one point, Reardon says, Cioppa wrote and signed a note that said he would return the money on April 14. But, she says, he never did.
“He really seemed like he was trying to be helpful and I guess it was a con to get into my pocket,” says Reardon. “I feel stupid for trusting him.”
Reardon is hopeful she will her money back.
Tutera says Cioppa is not allowed to serve as a constable while on bail. He says constables are allowed to be hired by private citizens and lawyers and can also take part in security and custody exchanges.
Cioppa’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 29.