Former financial administrator accused of stealing over $1M from Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Chaz Miller Image
Thursday, March 9, 2023
$1.25M bond set for Pasadena Chamber admin in $1.5M theft case
A woman entrusted with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce's finances is accused of enriching herself with the organization's money.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A former employee of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce is facing multiple felony charges after being accused of stealing money from the organization while working there from 2017 to 2022.

Documents show Jamie Huffar, 46, is charged with misapplication of fiduciary property, false statement to obtain credit, forgery, fraudulent use of identifying information, and theft.

Huffar was initially hired as a financial administrator but became the organization's director of finance in 2020.

"We are deeply saddened that we are the victim of financial crimes at the Pasadena Chamber," the organization's president, Cristina Womack, said. "It is a significant loss and an egregious violation of trust by a trusted employee."

Charging documents read Huffar confessed her actions to Womack in November last year before storming out of the building and never returning.

It was Womack, police say, who called the authorities.

Documents allege Huffar opened a Capital One credit card under Womack's name, using stolen personal information before charging more than $300,000 to that account.

She allegedly paid the bill using chamber of commerce funds.

Additionally, officials said she transferred money from business accounts to a personal PayPal account, bought "hundreds of thousands of dollars" worth of personal items on company procurement cards, and even stole the vast majority of the funds raised from last fall's "Taste of the Town" event, which is the chamber's marquee fundraiser.

Huffar is accused of using the money for personal expenses, including cosmetic surgery, trips to Budapest and Disney World, and online shopping.

"This person betrayed the public's trust and essentially stole from the merchants and the hardworking businessmen and women of Pasadena," Harris County Prosecutor Mike Levine said.

ABC13 asked Womack how Huffar was able to get away with these accusations for such an extended period of time.

"It's heartbreaking, isn't it?" Womack said. "We've tightened policies, increased procedures, and the reality is, although it's devastating, we will be better."

Huffar is being held on a $1.25 million bond and was asked to surrender her passport and wear an ankle monitor.

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