Finance director for Pasadena Chamber of Commerce accused of embezzling more than $1 million – Houston Public Media

Finance director for Pasadena Chamber of Commerce accused of embezzling more than  million – Houston Public Media
Finance director for Pasadena Chamber of Commerce accused of embezzling more than  million – Houston Public Media
An aged apartment sophisticated within just watch of the ship channel refineries on the north side of Pasadena, Texas, July 1, 2017.

A previous employee for a Houston-spot chamber of commerce is dealing with many legal charges for allegedly defrauding the chamber and its leading government out of far more than $1 million.

Jamie Huffar, 46, the previous director of finance for the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, is accused of spending for plastic surgical treatment, private massages, clothes and visits to Disney Planet and Budapest, Hungary, with chamber cash and fraudulently received credit playing cards, according to a possible cause affidavit submitted in Harris County courtroom. She also is accused of forging the signature of chamber president Cristina Womack to maximize the chamber’s Little Enterprise Administration mortgage by $350,000 – money Huffar allegedly made use of as “her personalized slush fund,” courtroom documents show.

“The evidence reveals that Huffar (allegedly) stole hundreds of 1000’s from the chamber, mostly to gas an online searching addiction and her need to are living an ornate, lavish way of life,” Pasadena Law enforcement Section investigator Frank Kiley wrote in the probable result in affidavit.

Huffar was billed before this thirty day period with earning a bogus assertion to acquire credit history in an total amongst $30,000 and $150,000, fraudulent use and possession of identifying facts, misapplication of fiduciary residence in an volume better than $300,000 and two counts of forgery of a economic instrument in quantities bigger than $300,000. She remained in jail Tuesday on bonds totaling $1.25 million, courtroom records clearly show.

Huffar’s Pasadena-primarily based legal professional, Lori Laird, did not straight away respond Tuesday to a information left at her business office searching for remark.

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce filed a civil lawsuit in December against Huffar, whom it employed in 2017 as a economic administrator and promoted in 2020 to the place of director of finance, according to court docket paperwork. The chamber named Itria Ventures, LLC as a co-defendant, alleging the organization conspired with Huffar to distribute more than $87,000 in small-organization financial loans it contends ended up not properly authorized by the chamber. Itria filed a civil accommodate from the chamber and Huffar the adhering to working day, alleging they defaulted on their end of a 2022 arrangement.

Huffar is alleged to have produced extra than $780,000 in fraudulent procurement card prices concerning 2017-21, in addition to far more than $330,000 in fraudulent prices on a credit history card she allegedly obtained in Womack’s identify and with no Womack’s awareness, in accordance to courtroom data. Huffar also is accused of doctoring bank statements and economic files in an endeavor to conceal fraudulent purchases, court docket information exhibit.

The chamber elevated far more than $61,000 in November at its annual “Style of the City” event, and Huffar is alleged to have deposited approximately $47,000 of that income into her personal financial institution account, court data display. She also is accused of building immediate transfers from a chamber account to her particular PayPal account, in an total totaling $37,500, according to court paperwork.

Kiley wrote in the probable bring about affidavit that a prison investigation is ongoing, incorporating, “It is plausible that far more fraud may well still appear to light-weight.”