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Former Chamber Foundation head charged with theft from UCCF

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jan 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-17 19:45:48-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A former executive director of United Corpus Christi Chamber Foundation has been arrested and accused with stealing money from that foundation.

Yvette Lara was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with one count of property theft – a second-degree felony.

Lara is also being charged with misappropriation of funds in the value range of $35,000 to $100,000 – a third-degree felony.

According to a police report, Lara may have made $40,000 in unauthorized transactions with the foundation's debit card.

The foundation for the Chamber of Commerce is a separate entity from the chamber itself. Current Chamber of Commerce president John Larue said he was not shocked by the news of her arrest.

"We knew that the police had been looking into some of her activities when she had been with the foundation, so I can not say it was a surprise," Larue said.

During her time with the foundation, Lara worked closely with the Leadership of Corpus Christi Alumni, where she was tasked with handling financial data. That is where she allegedly embezzled the $40,000 and spent the money at grocery stores, Walmart and other convenience stores as well as concerts and hotels. All of the transactions were for her own personal benefit.

We contacted the president of the Leadership Corpus Christi Alumni during the time, Samuel Longoria, who said that they are patiently waiting for the investigation to unfold.

Lara's arraignment has been scheduled for Feb. 7.