Local News

Nonprofit Employee Charged With Embezzlement

Posted May 19, 2004 7:47 a.m. EDT

— A local shelter for abused women is on the verge of shutting down after an employee confessed to embezzling thousands of dollars.

Deborah Summerlin is accused of embezzling nearly $10,000 from the SAFE shelter of Harnett County where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Investigators say she confessed to spending the money to feed her gambling addiction. They say Summerlin gambled on several Web sites, and because of that, they say the money will likely not be recovered.

"If the money is not recovered we will lose services. That's the bottom line," said shelter director Sherill Thomas.

Thomas is applying for grants to keep the shelter going.

"If there is anyone out there who knows the work we do and would like to help us please come forward at this time," she said.

Summerlin is out on bond and has a court appearance later this month.