Now in prison, former cop Briggs faces new charge

2012-12-14T04:30:00Z Now in prison, former cop Briggs faces new chargeBy NICHOLAS BERGIN / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Former Lincoln Police Officer Cassandra Briggs once again has found herself on the wrong side of the law.

Briggs, 43, began serving a two- to five-year prison sentence June 2  for stealing thousands of dollars from the Police Union’s Santa Cop program, which provides gifts to low-income children. She pleaded guilty in January to felony theft for skimming money from the charity’s account from August 2008 to November 2010.

Now she's accused of falsely reporting that her mother made unauthorized withdrawals using her ATM card.

A warrant was issued Thursday for Briggs on a felony charge of second-degree forgery.

On Oct. 17, she reported that while she was in prison, someone stole her Bank of the West ATM card, according to an affidavit for an arrest warrant written by Lincoln Police Officer Nathan Flood.

She filed an affidavit with the bank claiming two fraudulent withdrawals from her account originating in Jensen Beach, Fla., one for $606 on June 25 and the other for $303 on June 29.

She initially told the investigating officer she didn’t know anyone living in Jensen Beach but latter admitted her mother, Sharon Briggs, lives in Florida, Flood said in his affidavit.

The affidavit says Briggs told the officer her mother could have guessed her PIN number, and she never gave permission to use the card.

When contacted by police, Sharon Briggs said her daughter asked her to care for her son while she was in prison, sent her the ATM card, gave her the PIN number over the phone and told her to withdraw the money.

A recording of a phone call placed from prison confirmed Sharon Briggs' version of events, according to the affidavit.

The forgery charge stems from Cassandra Briggs signing a document with the bank saying she was the victim of a crime.

The Nebraska Department of Corrections website lists her as an inmate of the Community Corrections Center in Lincoln, a work release facility. Her original sentencing order makes her eligible for parole in June.

Briggs resigned from the police department in April 2011. She had been placed on administrative leave earlier that month.

Briggs ran the Santa Cop program for years but became the focus of an investigation after a union secretary noticed pages missing and discrepancies in the charity’s financial book.

She used the funds to pay rent, civil obligations and to add to her PayPal account, Deputy County Attorney Holly Parsley said during the court hearing when Briggs pleaded guilty to theft.

Court records show that in recent years Briggs faced lawsuits from hospitals and credit agencies. She had been ordered to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills.

In the wake of the theft revelation, the Lincoln Police Union Charities sued Briggs and won a judgment of $11,290.48 plus interest. The remaining balance on that debt is $8,540.77 as of Thursday, according to court records.

Reach Nicholas Bergin at 402-473-7304 or nbergin@journalstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSBergin.

Copyright 2015 JournalStar.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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