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Former Youth ChalleNGe Academy employee sentenced

JACKSON — Jerry Howard, 51, former Cafeteria Manager at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Shelby, was sentenced to 8 years to serve, and 2 years suspended. The Youth ChalleNGe Academy is part of the National Guard Youth Guard Program and serves at-risk male and female youth ages 16-18.

“During a search in 2014, Special Agents from my office found large quantities of invoiced food that never appeared on cafeteria menus, said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “ Additionally, end of the year totals for food purchases increased from $216,000 in 2008 to $306,000 in 2014, while the number of academy participants remained the same.”

On May 24, 2014, following a search of Howard’s restaurant, Jerry’s Seasoned Food, and his personal residence, Howard was arrested by agents from the State Auditor’s Office and charged with grand larceny. During the search, agents found and seized large quantities of food at each location that was purchased by the National Guard.

Howard was hired by the Camp Shelby Youth ChalleNGe Program in 1994. He was terminated following his arrest in March of 2014.

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