A former employee for a nonprofit youth program in Macon pleaded guilty Thursday to 70 counts of theft by taking.

The District Attorney's office says a judge sentenced Phyllis Denise Wallace to serve 15 years for stealing money from the Motivating Youth Foundation. The 45-year-old will serve three of those in prison.

The program's founder is former NFL player Roger Jackson. The release says Wallace had access to the foundation's financial accounts in 2013 and 2014. Jackson discovered missing checks from the program's checkbook. An investigation also revealed unauthorized charges billed to the foundation's debit card.

Since the embezzlement, Jackson said the program's enrollment has decreased, and the organization hasn't been able to provide the same number of scholarships it once offered.

Wallace must also pay $56,860 in restitution after serving her prison sentence.