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HILLSVILLE — Among the sealed indictments from last Thursday's special grand jury was a charge of felony embezzlement against the former executive director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
Named in the one count of embezzlement filed in Carroll Circuit Court was Roger Thomas Hawthorne, 56, of Hillsville.
The indictment was unsealed after Hawthorne turned himself in to authorities on Friday.
An indictment is a formal charge, not a finding of guilt.
It alleges that Hawthorne "did feloniously, wrongfully and fraudulently dispose, conceal or embezzle from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce by virtue of the accused's office, trust or employment, property or United States currency having a value of more than $200."
Hawthorne is said to be cooperating with the investigation by Virginia State Police Special Agent Brad Burnett.
After Hawthorne turned himself in, he was released on a $26,000 unsecured bond.
Members of the chamber's board of directors got suspicious after being unable to schedule meetings for long periods of 2008 and requested a state police investigation.
Chamber officers have said that $50,000 worth of chamber funds are in question, including problems with payroll and inappropriate and unauthorized expenditures.
A review of financial records by the board of directors had found checks written to the executive director, Food Lion and DirecTV, though the chamber does not have the satellite television service.