Ocean Springs woman stole more than $200K from inheritance fund for 2 children, police say

Shannon Lee Werneth
Shannon Lee Werneth

An Ocean Springs woman has pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $233,000 from a inheritance fund left by a father to his two children.

Shannon Lee Werneth, 49, is related to the family and was named the guardian over the estate for the two children.

More than five years ago, a Jackson County chancery judge had ordered Werneth to deposit the more than $233,000 from the father's life insurance policy into an account at Keesler Federal Credit Union for the man's children.

A judge had ordered her to get approval from the courts before withdrawing money and to file an annual report on the spending.

That was never done, a complaint said.

An investigation showed Werneth never put the money in the bank or explained to the court where the money went.

She is free on a $20,000 bond and a judge has set a Aug. 7 trial date.

If convicted, she could go to prison for up to 20 years and face a fine up to $5,000.

Margaret Baker 228-896-0538, margar45