Former Chief Clerk Of The Chatham County
SAVANNAH, GA – Former Chief Clerk of the Chatham County Probate Court, Kim H. Birge, 61, has been indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah on charges of mail fraud and federal program fraud.
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, between January 2011 and November 2014, Birge embezzled and stole more than $700,000 from the Probate Court’s bank accounts. Birge would deposit fees and conservatorship funds into the Court’s bank accounts, but would later write checks payable to cash out of those accounts for her personal benefit. In addition, Birge forged the signatures of conservators or their attorneys to create false documentation of conservatorship money being spent or disbursed.
Birge faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release on each of the four mail fraud charges, and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release on the federal program fraud charge. An indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Brian T. Rafferty and Scarlett S. Nokes are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. Any questions should be directed to First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.