By Linda Cicoira


A Gargatha area woman pleaded guilty Thursday in Accomack Circuit Court to embezzling nearly $1,800 from a local convenience store. Another woman reported learning from the media that she had been indicted for welfare fraud.

Forty-nine-year-old Trina Nicole McLaughlin, said she has been selling dinners and peddling her belongings to pay back restitution to her former employer, Royal Farms. She also earns money caring for her ailing sister and has paid $500 in restitution.

“I’m sorry that it happened,” McLaughlin said. “This is not anything that I do. I was struggling … They will get their money.”

Judge W. Revell Lewis III gave her 14 months to pay the rest of the debt.  “With regard to sentence,” the judge said, “Royal Farms trusted you. You breached that trust with them. It does appear it was something totally out of character for you. You were left with a lot of burdens you shouldn’t have had.

She was sentenced to three years in prison with all but three days suspended,  indefinite probation, and good behavior for three years.

“People need to understand that when people steal from their employers, they need to see the inside of the jail,” the judge said.