Businessman arrested for embezzling from fund honoring deceased girl

SLIDELL, LA (WVUE) - The manager of a Slildell business has been arrested for stealing money from the scholarship fund of a deceased Slidell girl.

Jonathan Lee Holcomb, 29, was arrested on Aug. 27 and charged with one count of theft of more than $1,000. The fund was set up to honor Slidell-native Hayley Howard who passed away in March after crashing her car in Irish Bayou.

According to police, Holcomb, who manages the "Run N Tri" store in Slidell, helped Howard's family and friends set up a fundraising run/walk on April 6 to benefit the scholarship fund. Money raised was deposited into an account at a Whitney Bank in Slidell under the name "Hayley Howard Scholarship Fund Account."

Police say that when organizers checked on the account in June, the $4,340.17 was withdrawn without the members knowing.

Investigators determined that Holcomb removed the money out of the account using checks, cash withdrawals and electronic transfers. Detectives learned that money was transferred from Howard's account to Holcomb's personal bank account, before Holcomb withdrew the money as cash.

Investigators questioned Holcomb who admitted to taking the money.

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