HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — A Hopewell City Council Member will be held liable for misusing donations from a GoFundMe that was set to help a grieving family.
A judge has ordered Hopewell Ward 7 Councilor Dominic Holloway to pay $5,600 to the mother of 8-year-old murder victim P’Aris Moore.
8-year-old P’Aris Moore was killed in a shooting at the intersection of Freeman Street and Carolina Avenue on the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 30, 2022. 20-year-old Jamari Antonio Taylor of Hopewell, 18-year-old Rayquan Latrel Harvell of Chesterfield and an unidentified juvenile were later arrested and charged in connection to her death.
Holloway set up a GoFundMe to help her grieving family — but according to a lawsuit filed over the summer, Moore’s mother Brionna Taylor said Holloway took part of the donated money and used it to pay child support.
Taylor stated that of the more than $15,000 raised, she only received about $6,000 and was seeking $5,600 in damages from Holloway.
In court on Wednesday, the judge ruled in Taylor’s favor in the civil suit, ordering Holloway to pay the amount requested, plus 6% interest and $64 in attorney’s fees.
In addition to the latest developments in the GoFundMe lawsuit, embezzlement charges have also been filed against the councilman for a separate incident — court paperwork states Holloway unlawfully and knowingly misused public funds while in his public service position.
“The allegation is that he used taxpayer money that he is entitled to spend for certain purposes, for a purpose that he is not entitled to use it for,” 8News legal analyst, Russ Stone, explained.
Stone gave insight on how serious the punishment could be for the embezzlement charges.
“Jail is often handed out by judges in embezzlement cases, because of that violation of trust,” said Stone. “Because it is viewed as more serious than just taking something that doesn’t belong to you.”
8News reached out to Holloway over the phone but he immediately hung up when asked for comment.