Former city clerk charged with pocketing residents’ water bill payments, faces decades in prison, thousands in fines

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

A former deputy municipal clerk in a Mississippi town was arrested Thursday for allegedly embezzling cash from residents paying their water bills.

Juanyana Holloway, 23, who worked for the Town of Sumrall, was arrested after being indicted for fraud, alteration of records and embezzlement by a local grand jury. Special agents with state Auditor Shad White’s office also handed Holloway a $28,686 demand letter. The amount includes interest and investigative expenses, White said in a news release.

Holloway is accused of embezzling cash as Sumrall residents paid their water bills. To conceal the scheme, Holloway allegedly did not include cash collections on daily bank deposit slips. From summer 2018 to summer 2020, Holloway purportedly took over $13,000 from the town, White said.

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“As the native of a small town in the Pine Belt myself, my team and I will never turn a blind eye to what is happening with taxpayer money in our community,” White said. “We will hold the line and enforce the law wherever we find theft of public funds.”

Holloway surrendered to authorities in Lamar County last week. She was released on $25,000 bail. It was unknown if she has an attorney who could speak on her behalf. If convicted on all counts, Holloway faces up to 25 years in prison and $15,000 in fines, White’s office said.