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Recreational theft

VINTON (KWWL) - A Vinton woman pleads guilty to stealing from the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Iowa State Auditor's Office first investigated after financial discrepancies were reported in 2007.

The audit revealed $65,000 of undeposited collections from 2001 to 2007. The Department's administrative assistant, 30-year-old Kari Cantrell was charged with First Degree Theft.

Sentencing is March 25th. Cantrell faces up to ten years in prison.


Online Producer: Maria Magner


Extended details on the case from the Vinton Police Dept. are posted below.

Guilty Plea entered in Vinton Parks and Recreation Department embezzlement case.

Kari Cantrell, 30, of Vinton entered a guilty plea to the criminal charge of Theft in the 1st Degree, a Class "C" Felony, in Benton County District Court on Friday.

Cantrell was charged by the Vinton Police Department in May of 2009 following an investigation conducted by the Vinton Police Department, the Iowa State Auditor's Office, and the Benton County Attorney's Office.  The investigation was initiated after financial discrepancies were reported by Vinton Parks and Recreation Director Duane Randall in August of 2007.

A public audit report by the Iowa State Auditor's Office covering the period of July 19, 2001 to August 31, 2007 identified $65,656.07 of undeposited collections, and $24.37 in improper disbursements. 

The Auditor's report also identified $8,315.68 of cash deposits into Cantrell's personal bank account which agreed with individual collections recorded but not properly deposited to the Vinton Parks and Recreation Department's bank account. 

The Auditor's report also identified many areas of concern regarding cash handling practices at the Parks and Recreation Department, and made recommendations for changes to those practices.

This case was prosecuted by Benton County Attorney David Thompson.

Theft 1st Degree is a Class "C" Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Sentencing for Cantrell has been set for March 25, 2010 at 1 p.m. in Benton County District Court.



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