A Forest County grand jury has indicted a former cafeteria manager of Camp Shelby’s Youth ChalleNGe Academy after a search of his restaurant, Jerry’s Seasoned Food, and home turned up large quantities of food the Mississippi National Guard bought for the at-risk youth program.
In addition to the four-count embezzlement indictment, 51-year-old Jerry Howard was served with a restitution demand of $157,385 from the State Auditor’s office.
Authorities arrested Howard on May 24, 2014 after the searches of his restaurant and home.
“This was an unfortunate situation where one individual didn’t share in the beliefs and values of the organization of which he was a part of, and used the trust of that program to personally benefit,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said.
Pickering said an investigation by his agents concluded that large quantities of invoiced food never appeared on cafeteria menus. Investigators became suspicious when they found that while the number of ChalleNGe Academy participants remained virtually the same, end-of-the-year totals for food purchases increased from $216,000 in 2008 to $306,000 in 2014.
The academy serves at-risk male and female youngsters ages 16-18
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info