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News5 Investigates Update: ‘Questionable expenses’ placed on Penrose park district’s bank account

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Trina Finto and her two daughters Trina Finto and her two daughters
Outside Trina Finto's home Outside Trina Finto's home

News5 Investigates is staying on top of a search warrant executed at Trina Finto's home Thursday afternoon.

Finto is the former president of the Penrose Park and Recreation Department.

Investigators are looking into Finto and her two daughters, Stevee and Krystal, who are accused of embezzling up to $1.2 million from the park district over the past seven years.

Shortly after Finto and her two daughters took over in 2008, homeowners noticed the town's only park wasn't being maintained.

“The playground equipment is old and dilapidated,” homeowner Tina Heffner said. “It doesn't appear the weeds were ever removed.”

News5 uncovered the district took in more than $100,000 in funding and grants each year, but neither Finto or her daughters could explain how the money was spent.

When we asked for financial records under open records laws, we were told they were damaged in a flood.

Investigators aren't so sure, and obtained probable cause evidence to search Finto's home.

"We're looking for any documents they may have and items that may have been purchased with funds from the recreation district,” Det. Dale King told News5 Thursday.

In the search warrant, the sheriff's office says the park district's credit card was used to make a series of purchases at more than a dozen retailers including Wal Mart, Home Depot, Office Depot, Amazon and Sam's Club.

Detectives also uncovered Finto and her two daughters had written themselves numerous checks over the years.

Authorities say a brand new furnace was purchased with the district credit card and delivered to Trina's daughter's home. A laptop computer had also been ordered.

Several bills including a Direct TV subscription were paid with park finances, but we learned the park and recreation center never had a Direct TV account.

"I believe that the investigation will show that there's been misappropriation of funds for many years and the funds were used for personal use,” Heffner said.

Finto and her two daughters are no longer in charge of the park and recreation department.

A new board was elected and took office in February.

As of now, no charges have been filed. 

We'll continue updating this story as new information becomes available. 

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