The Chicago Tribunte reports in great detail on allegations of mis-spent Melrose Park Little League money:
A former treasurer of the Melrose Park Little League is accused of stealing more than $24,000 from two bank accounts held by the non-profit group, according to a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general's office.
Over a 10-month period starting in May 2003, Lisa A. Zito wrote two checks worth $1,160 to her mother, made $7,374 in payments on her husband's American Express card and withdrew $3,756 at ATMs, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday. She also wrote 11 checks worth $10,200 to cash and another, worth $350, to herself.
Zito has told the Tribune that others in the association were responsible for the missing funds. She said her tires were slashed and a sex toy was put on her front porch after she raised questions about the league's finances in 2005.
Five members of the league's board of directors have signed affidavits stating that the board did not authorize Zito to withdraw those funds and the payments were not made for legitimate business purposes. Messages left for two board members were not returned Saturday.
Without the board's knowledge, Zito opened a second account in the league's name at TCF National Bank, where she already had a personal account, according to an affidavit signed by league treasurer Sam Scardino.
Zito, the only person authorized to make payments from the new account, used it to siphon away more than $11,000 from the league, according to the lawsuit. She is also accused of taking more than $13,000 from the association's account at Banco Popular.
The lawsuit asks a court to award civil penalties and require Zito to pay restitution and fully account for how the money was spent. The attorney general's charitable trusts office has been investigating the case for roughly the past year, a spokeswoman said.