OC woman held for court on forgery, theft charges

An Oil City woman was held for court Wednesday at Venango County Central Court on charges related to a fraudulent check scheme.

Sheila Whatley, 49, has been charged with six felony counts of forgery and six misdemeanor counts each of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

Oil City police responded to a possible domestic and theft incident last year at a Hiland Avenue residence, according to a criminal complaint filed through district judge Andrew Fish’s office.

Police spoke with a woman who said she had been arguing with her nephew, Christopher Ahrens, 42, of Oil City, and that Ahrens had left taking several of her checks without permission, the complaint said.

The woman called police twice last September and said she found that three of her checks had been written to Whatley in the amounts of $325, $175, $200, $325, $350 and $320, the complaint said.

Whatley remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Ahrens waived his preliminary hearing in May for this incident. He was charged with six felony counts of forgery, a felony count of identity theft and misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception.

He is presently incarcerated in the Venango County jail for a separate incident.