JACKSON, MS – The former Cafeteria Manager at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Camp Shelby has been charged by the MS State Auditor’s Office for grand larceny.
Fifty-one-year-old Jerry Howard was arrested on May 24, 2014 after officials searched his restaurant (Jerry’s Seasoned Food) and his home.
During the search of the restaurant and home, large amounts of food that the National Guard purchased were found. State Auditor Stacey Pickering said in an official release, “agents determined that large quantities of invoiced food never appeared on cafeteria menus. While the number of 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.”
Howard has been formally served with an a indictment for 4 counts of embezzlement and a demand for $157,385.40.
“The Youth ChalleNGe Program at Camp Shelby has a long history of being an excellent program that positively impacts young people,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “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.”
District Attorney Patricia Burchell stated, “While I am ethically prohibited from commenting on the specifics of this case or our prosecution of the case, I want to take this opportunity to commend the agents of the State Auditor’s Office for their excellent investigation.”
The Youth ChalleNGe Academy, which serves at-risk male and female youth ages 16-18, is part of the National Guard Youth Guard Program and