Suspect has past criminal history

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 19, 2004

AHOSKIE – Cassandra Harrell Brown, a Certified Nurses Assistant employed by an Ahoskie healthcare provider who stands charged of check theft and forgery, is a name very familiar within the local court systems.

According to court documents from Bertie County, Brown (aka Cassandra Denise Harrell) was found guilty twice on worthless check charges (1995, 96), had her probation revoked for failing to appear on the same charges (also in 1996), resisted a public officer (1997), had a felony probation violation (2000), failed to return rental property (2001) and accepted a guilty verdict on misdemeanor larceny (2001).

In Hertford County, Brown was found guilty in 1998 of forgery, uttering and misdemeanor larceny. She also had one traffic offense – Driving While License Revoked – in 2001.

&uot;As required by law, our company does perform criminal background checks on our prospective employees,&uot; said Brenda Rose, director of Interim Healthcare of Ahoskie, Brown’s employer at the time she was arrested by the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office on Friday for larceny, forgery and uttering as well as exploitation of the disabled/elderly.

Those charges stem from a case in Aulander where an 88-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man were allegedly victimized by Brown. Checks were allegedly stolen by Brown from the home of the victims. According to Aulander Police Chief Jimmy Barmer, Brown then made the stolen checks out in her name, forged the signature of one of the victims and deposited the checks in her savings account at an Ahoskie bank.

In regards to security issues dealing with the fast-growing healthcare industry, Rose said that background checks are performed by the State Bureau of Investigation.

&uot;That process takes a while to complete,&uot; she noted. &uot;The results are not immediately available.&uot;

As far as Brown’s employment by Interim Healthcare is concerned, Rose said she was not at liberty to discuss issues dealing with personnel. Again citing personnel reasons, Rose also chose to make no comment when asked if a prospective employee must wait for the background check to clear prior to being allowed to work.

Rose did say that Interim Healthcare is conducting an investigation.