New Bern Police: Worker steals $60k from senior community

Suspect faces more than 180 charges

Police: Worker steals $60k from senior community (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - A woman is facing more than 180 charges, for allegedly embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a senior living community in New Bern. Police said the suspect used the money to pay for her drug habit.

Sandra Bizzell, 33, appeared in court Wednesday, where she broke down in tears. According to New Bern Police, Bizzell embezzled more than $60,000 from The Courtyards at Berne Village, on Amhurst Boulevard. That facility offers both assisted living and independent living situations. Bizzell allegedly wrote checks from the business' account, then cashed them herself.

"It infuriates me," said Lynda Gaskins, whose brother lives at The Courtyards. "[The residents] need all the help they can get, and for someone to take away from them is unforgivable."

Investigators said Bizzell stole the money over a 10-month period, while she worked as a financial officer at The Courtyards. The embezzlement scheme ended about a week ago, police said.

After Bizzell's court appearance Wednesday, her family declined to comment on her behalf. Bizzell faces more than 62 counts each of embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretense, and forgery of a check.

Bizzell was arrested on Tuesday. According to investigators, she no longer works for The Courtyards.  An administrator at the business said in a statement, "We are insured so this will not negatively affect our residents. We're taking measures so this doesn't happen again."

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