Treasurer accused in fishing fund theft

Janelle Marie Adams

The treasurer for the Deep Sea Fishermen’s Benefit Fund is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the Warrenton nonprofit.

Janelle Marie Adams, 42, of Hammond, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Clatsop County Circuit Court to first-degree aggravated theft.

The alleged theft occurred between May and November 2013.

Warrenton Police Chief Mathew Workman said the investigation began in September 2014.

Adams was arrested last month after a grand jury indictment. She is out of custody on a release agreement from the jail.

Police continue to investigate, and believe she may have stolen more funds.

“This has been an ongoing investigation for a couple of years now,” Workman said. “There is more to come on this.”

Members of the nonprofit went through bank statements after Adams took over as treasurer and discovered funds were not adding up, according to Workman. Members believe she misappropriated the funds.

The Deep Sea Fishermen’s Benefit Fund maintains an emergency fund to help fishermen and their families. The nonprofit hosts crab feeds in Warrenton to raise money.

Adams has a criminal history in Clatsop County. She was convicted in 2010 of first-degree theft and multiple computer crimes.

Adams is due back in court in August for an early resolution conference.

The alleged theft from the Fishermen’s Benefit Fund is the second recent incident involving a Warrenton group. Earlier this year, Ronald Kay Williams, the former director of the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival, was resentenced to nearly three years in prison.

Williams, 52, stole money out of festival bank accounts, took signs, autographed memorabilia and kept a dunk tank. The crimes occurred between September 2011 and March 2012.

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