Cranberry couple repaying trust fund

Date: 2010-06-10

By Bobby Kerlik

A couple under investigation for their handling of two orphans' trust fund agreed to sell their million-dollar Cranberry home and are making $3,000 monthly payments to reimburse the fund under a plan presented to an Allegheny County judge Wednesday.

Daniel and Merily Pompa borrowed $465,000 in mortgages and $55,000 from the twins' trust but said in their financial plan that they "always intended to pay the mortgages to the trust."

Common Pleas Judge Lawrence J. O'Toole previously questioned the accounting of how the couple spent more than $1.5 million from the trust. The financial plan does not mention debts in addition to the mortgage and loan.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.'s office has investigated since fall how the Pompas spent money from the trust established to care for the twins, who were orphaned by a murder-suicide involving Merily Pompa's cousin. The couple later adopted the boy and girl, now 13.

No criminal charges have been filed. Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus said prosecutors are awaiting more financial records.

The couple has not spoken about the case. They filed a 150-page accounting of their spending this year.

"The accounting that was filed was completely inadequate," Claus said.

In addition to the payments and sale of the house, the Pompas' financial plan includes changing their life insurance policy and will to pay the estate as a beneficiary in each. They agreed to make no further requests for money on behalf of the twins.

The Cranberry house is listed for sale at $1.39 million. Mortgages owed to the bank on the property are $1.12 million, but proceeds after closing costs would go to the trust, according to the Pompas' plan.

The family lives primarily at a condo in Seven Springs, attorney Joan Shoemaker said.

The Pompas turned over jewelry -- including a $20,000 diamond ring -- and expensive watches owned by the orphans' parents to the corporate trustee of the fund.

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