Jason Jessee

Jason Jessee

Jason Alexander Jessee, 46, a former Gretna hotel owner pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon in Pittsylvania County Circuit Court to two counts of embezzlement. 

Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Haskins said Jessee pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to pay $21,000 to the town of Gretna within 10 days.

Jessee received 12 months on each embezzlement charge. The time was then reduced to time served according to Haskins. 

“His lawyer has all of the money. [Jessee] has served his time and will be released,” Haskins said.

According to court documents Jessee was indicted by a Pittsylvania County grand jury on Dec. 12, 2016 on two counts of embezzlement.

Search warrants state Jessee allegedly took out a $218,299.19 loan from TruPoint Bank in an attempt to refinance the hotel after “Hilton pulled its franchise for failure to pay franchise taxes.”

Jessee allegedly deposited the money into “Jason Jessee’s living trust account with Wells Fargo,” and $100,000 was transferred into a hotel operating account.

The loan information claimed the $100,000 was to be used to cover the amount owed to Gretna for occupancy taxes, however those funds were allegedly never used to pay Gretna. 

Search warrants also revealed $686.18 was being put into “Jamie Stewart Jessee United HealthOne policy,” from the hotel’s operating account. 

An additional $454.50 was also being paid monthly from the hotel’s operating account to Freedom Life Insurance Company according to the warrants. 

Jessee then failed to appear for his plea hearing on March 20, 2017. 

At the time, his attorney Michael Nicholas told the court he had no contact with Jessee who has been released on a $2,500 secured bond. 

Judge Stacey Moreau then ordered Jessee’s trial continued until he could be located.

From March 2017 until Nov. 2018, Jessee’s whereabouts were unknown until he was located in Florida during a routine traffic stop court documents state. 

Jessee was then extradited back to Virginia.

Jessee is being held in the Pittsylvania County Jail under no bond and is awaiting release.

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