Vancleave woman sentenced for stealing thousands from employer

Shirley Forehand Atkinson
Shirley Forehand Atkinson

A former Vancleave resident is serving three years under house arrest for stealing thousands of dollars from a check-cashing business where she worked.

A Jackson County grand jury indicted Shirley Forehand Atkinson on eight counts of embezzlement. She pleaded guilty to all the charges in March and sentenced the same day.

Circuit Judge Robert Krebs sentenced Atkinson, now a resident of Gautier, to 10 years in prison on three counts of embezzlement to run concurrent to a five-year sentence for the remaining five counts. She also was ordered to serve seven years of post-release supervision.

If Atkinson violates the terms of her house arrest, she will have to serve the full 10-year prison term.

Gautier police started investigating the case in December 2014 after the owner of Check Plus LLC on U.S. 90 reported Atkinson had embezzled more than $60,000 from his business. She had been a store manager there for 12 years, police said.

The total she's accused of stealing is $72,000. The money was taken between April 2009 and November 2014. A restitution order will be filed in the case, according to court records.

Assistant District Attorney Justin Lovorn prosecuted the case.