Gaston woman charged with writing bad checks, defrauding local businesses
SALISBURY — Law enforcement officials have a Gaston County woman in custody this morning after they say she and her son bought large purchases at several local furniture and retail stores, with no money in the bank to cover a check.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arrested and charged Marsha Gail Holmes, 48, of Cloninger Road, Dallas, with four counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses. Investigators say Holmes and her son, Casey Lee Armstrong, 26, whose address is listed as a Charlotte homeless shelter, went to multiple businesses on Feb. 16, to buy furniture and other big ticket items. Officials now say the two defrauded other businesses in Rockwell.
The two, who officials aren’t sure are mother and son, told one store owner that Armstrong had just deposited his tax refund check and they wanted to buy furniture. Steve Ludwick, owner of Home Town Furniture in downtown Salisbury, thought something didn’t feel right. He called the bank and the bank told Ludwick the account had insufficient funds. He did not accept the check and the two left the store. A few hours later, Armstrong and Holmes bought more than $200 worth of items at Queens Gifts and more than $1,800 from Kimbrell’s Furniture. The two would look at furniture, load it up and leave.
Capt. John Sifford said in each one of these businesses, employees or owners noted Armstrong appeared nervous and was shaking as he tried to sign the check. In many of the incidents, Holmes signed the check, saying Armstrong was sick. The two are said to have written checks at the Sofa Store & More located on U.S. 52 in Rockwell and a golf cart store in the town. It is unclear at this time how much they were able to buy at the two businesses. She remains in the Rowan County Detention Center under a $10,000 secured bond. See more details in Friday’s Post.