Mount Angel man charged with embezzling from local nonprofit
A Mount Angel man known for giving back to the community is facing charges for stealing nearly $60,000 from a local nonprofit.
James Byron Hall Jr., 64, was arrested on two counts of first-degree aggravated theft and two counts of first-degree theft. He is accused of stealing from the Mt. Angel Community Foundation, a nonprofit that raises money for local causes, including scholarships for local high school students, organizations like the Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce, and attractions like the Mt. Angel Community Festhalle and the Glockenspiel restaurant.
He is accused of stealing an estimated $58,000 from the nonprofit. According to court documents he allegedly stole $20,000 or more from the foundation over the course of 2011 and 2012, and $2,000 or more in 2014.
According to a charity report filed in 2016 with the Oregon Department of Justice, the foundation has about $4 million in assets.
Hall, a certified public accountant, has served as treasurer of the foundation since its inception in 1995.
Lori Pavlicek, president of the nonprofit, said the board first became aware of the alleged transgressions in January this year and that Hall was immediately removed from his position as treasurer.
Pete Wall, who has been a board member for the nonprofit since 2012, is serving as interim treasurer, Pavlicek said.
Hall was known for giving back to the community, and was honored in 2014 with the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce First Citizen Award for his volunteer work. An Independent article about the award from 2014 said Hall has served on the St. Mary Catholic Church finance committee for years and assisted on the Benedictine Sisters finance committee. His wife, Marilyn Hall, was also honored with the award.
The residents that nominated them for the award said that "together they have raised a family of eight children. Mount Angel has truly benefited from the generous volunteerism of this remarkable family."
Pavlicek said Hall's alleged crimes have been hard for both the nonprofit and the Mount Angel community as a whole.
"Of course our community and the foundation board is disappointed and shocked," Pavlicek said. "He's from our community and you never want to hear about something like this happening with somebody in your community."
Hall's accounting license with the Oregon Board of Accountancy is shown as active on the board's website and shows no disciplinary action.
Hall was arraigned on the charges on Aug. 18 and was granted a conditional release from jail the same day. The conditions of the release include that Hall not have contact with the Mt. Angel Community Foundation.
His next court date is an indictment on Sept. 21 at 1:30 p.m.