Watson mug

Shirley Watson

A Georgetown woman was arrested, deputies said, after an audit indicated she had stolen more than $200,000 from a local real estate company.

On Wednesday, Oct. 19, Georgetown County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested Shirley Parker Watson, 40, Apache Road, when she surrendered herself to them at the Georgetown County Detention Center.

According to a GCSO release from Public Information Officer Alma Sierra, deputies met with representatives from DeBordieu Colony Real Estate Inc., 235 Church St., who told them they had conducted an audit to investigate alleged embezzlement on the part of their bookkeeper, identified as Watson. Sierra said deputies were told that audit determined Watson had issued checks to herself and forged owners' signatures to release money for her personal use.

The release reiterates allegations lodged against Watson in a civil suit filed Oct. 18 by Harry Oxner of the Pawleys Island firm Oxner and Stacy. In the suit, Oxner wrote Watson's employers learned of her alleged embezzlement in August of 2016 and hired the Georgetown-based accounting firm Harper, Poston and Moree, C.P.A., to conduct an audit of their accounts. Oxner wrote the results of that audit indicated Watson allegedly embezzled $205,047.57 from the company by writing checks for her personal use through two separate accounts.

Although the suit seeks damages in that amount, Oxner wrote Watson may have embezzled an unknown quantity of additional funds. 

Watson was charged with two counts of grand larceny in excess of $10,000 and two counts of forgery in excess of $10,000. Both are felony charges that carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. She was being held in the GCDC on $40,000 in bond. Her court date was pending.