Defendant Took More Than $1.5M In County Funds
LITTLE ROCK—Former Craighead County Clerk Jacob Kade Holliday pleaded guilty today to taking more than $1.5 million in county money for his personal use. Holliday, 33, of Jonesboro, entered his guilty plea before United States District Court Judge James M. Moody, Jr., who will sentence Holliday at a later date.
In June 2020, Craighead County officials reported that a theft had occurred from the Craighead County Clerk’s office. The bank that managed the Clerk’s office account had flagged suspicious activity, and auditors concluded that approximately $1,579,057.03 was missing and had been moved to Holliday’s personal banking accounts.
Law enforcement interviewed Holliday, who admitted to taking the money to fund his businesses: Holliday Development and Management, LLC, and Total Healthcare, LLC, both of which operated restaurants and coffee shops in Jonesboro. Holliday told investigators he planned to pay the money back, but once the COVID-19 pandemic caused most of his businesses to close, he could not replace the money.
At today’s hearing, Holliday acknowledged that his method was to make a transfer from the county account to one of his personal accounts and then get a cashier’s check from his personal account for the same amount. He pleaded guilty to Count 1 of the indictment, which charged him with wire fraud for his first fraudulent transfer of $101,782.97 on January 29, 2020. In his plea agreement, Holliday agreed to pay $1,579,057.03 in restitution to Craighead County.
The indictment, which was returned by a grand jury on December 1, 2020, charged Holliday with 11 counts of wire fraud. In exchange for Holliday’s guilty plea to Count 1, the remaining charges were dismissed. The full loss amount of over $1.5 million will be submitted to the court for consideration at Holliday’s sentencing hearing.
Judge Moody will sentence Holliday at a later date. The FBI, Arkansas State Police, and Craighead County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Allison W. Bragg is prosecuting the case.