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Police: Worker stole $4,000 from disabled adults

By Jon Erickson
Published On: Feb 26 2014 06:41:09 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 26 2014 06:49:32 PM CST
NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY -

An employee stole money from six disabled, adult residents of a New Bern group home, according to New Bern Police.

Leticia Chantel Armstrong worked for Monarch NC, which owns the home.

Over a months-long period during 2013, Armstrong allegedly stole nearly $4,000 from the residents' personal accounts.

Police this month charged Armstrong, 37, with 90 felonies, including obtaining property by false pretense and forgery of a check.

Armstrong would write checks to herself from the residents' accounts, then have a family member cash them, according to District Attorney Scott Thomas.

Armstrong told police that her family members were unaware of the scheme, Thomas said.

"It's unfortunate that this is dealing with the handicapped, [that makes it] even
more cruel," said Chuck Tyson, whose daughter Laura was one of the victims.

"They're special people," Tyson said of the group home residents.

"They're trusting, because they have to be."

Moncarch's CEO, Dr. Peggy Terhune, said she is dismayed that the residents' trust was violated.

The "background checks that we do... didn't uncover anything" indicating that Armstrong shouldn't be hired, Terhune said.

Armstrong has been terminated from her position.

An SUV sped out of Armstrong's driveway when the driver spotted a reporter, and a reporter was told "no comment" and not to call back when Armstrong was reached by phone.

Her next court date is set for early May.