Treasurer accused of stealing $800K from Vancouver Masons

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: April 21, 2014, 10:21 PM

 

The treasurer for the Vancouver Masonic Temple faces charges of stealing nearly $800,000 from the social and charitable organization.

Jesten Jay Galland III, 47, appeared in court Monday to face accusations that over the course of six years, he used the organization’s account to write checks to himself and his company, Jay Galland Consulting, totaling $798,202.25.

Judge Robert Lewis found probable cause for charges against Galland: four counts of first-degree theft, 209 of second-degree theft and 15 of forgery.

David Daily, a board member for the temple, first noticed the theft in March after discovering that the organization hadn’t paid its property taxes, according to documents filed in Clark County Superior Court.

Daily then found that as of December, the organization’s Edward Jones investment account balance was zero, down from its highest balance in December 2006 of $1,295,819.62, according to court documents.

Further investigation found financial reports submitted to the board of trustees with false financial information in which “Galland intentionally fabricated the account balance on the Treasurer’s report,” according to court documents.

Galland was elected as treasurer to the Vancouver Masonic Temple’s board of trustees in 2006 and began writing checks to himself by the end of that year, according to the court documents.

Vancouver Masonic Temple Inc. is the corporation that was formed to own and run the building, called the Vancouver Masonic Center, at 2500 N.E. 78th St. The space is used by Masonic groups and youth groups.

Between May 2007 and December 2012, Galland allegedly wrote 292 checks from the Vancouver Masonic Temple Inc., account to “JGC” — Jay Galland Consulting, for which Galland is the sole proprietor — court documents state. Galland is a mortgage adviser, according to his LinkedIn page.

“During that time period, Galland neglected to pay many of VMT Inc.’s responsibilities including taxes and corporation fees,” Clark County Sheriff’s Office Detective Scott Gilberti wrote in an affidavit. “The Vancouver Masonic Temple Inc. has suffered immense damage due to Galland’s theft.”

Paul Waadevig, deputy of the Grand Master for the Masons District 19, which includes Vancouver, said in a statement Monday that Galland resigned as treasurer and has been suspended from the organization.

“Freemasons from across the Grand Jurisdiction of Washington and other Jurisdictions are extremely disappointed that a fellow Freemason would betray a trust,” Waadevig said. “The local Masonic Lodges and their members will continue to support our charities and the community as best we can under the circumstances.”

Galland was arrested Friday. Lewis set his bail at $100,000 and scheduled his arraignment on the charges for May 2.