Troy travel agent sentenced after stealing from seniors

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 21, 2012

The travel agent accused of stealing more than $26,000 from 40 high school seniors last year plead guilty and was sentenced in Pike County on Thursday.

Gail Holley, 67, was given a suspended sentence of 10 years in the state penitentiary, five years probation and was ordered to pay back all the money she took from seniors and parents of the 2011 graduating classes of Luverne High School and Crenshaw Christian Academy, according to court records.

Holley was the owner of Southern Tours & Travel in Troy and had been paid to book a Carnival Cruise Lines senior trip to Jamaica, the Grand Cayman Islands and the Florida Keys.

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Shortly before the seniors were to set sail, they found out Holley never booked the trip and had gone out of business. Attempts to be reimbursed by Holley were unsuccessful.

Holley turned herself in to police on May 30, 2011 after a warrant was issued for her arrest for first-degree theft by deception. She was released, at that time, on a $5,000 bond.

Some parents reported they began paying for the trip as early as August 2010 and some made final payments as late as May 2011.