Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Girls Scholarship Trustee Had Sticky Fingers

(CN) - A trustee swiped hundreds of thousands of dollars from a trust fund for girls who graduate from Ukiah High School and want careers in medicine, California Attorney General Gerry Brown said. Brown's office said it recovered $650,000 from James L. Harrison, formerly a vice president of Savings Bank in Mendocino County.

Harrison, 62, became a trustee of the scholarship fund in 1993. The attorney general said he spent the money on real-estate investments and gave it to his friends and family. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation became aware of suspicious activity in 2005, and Harrison was charged in 2008 with felony misappropriation of trust assets, filing false tax returns and taking more than $200,000.

Harrison pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 1 year in county jail and 3 years probation. He also agreed not to serve as a trustee again.

Ukiah residents Viola and Oscar Allen established the trust in 1993 before their deaths to help girls who graduate from Ukiah High School.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.