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Press Release

Former Chief Clerk of the Chatham County Probate Court Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison for Over $750,000 in Theft From Probate Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia

SAVANNAH, GA –KIM H. BIRGE, 61, the former Chief Clerk of the Chatham County Probate Court, was sentenced Friday by United States District Court Judge William T. Moore, Jr. to serve 6 years in federal prison for a scheme to steal money that was entrusted to the Probate Court. Birge pled guilty in July to mail fraud.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment and testimony presented in during court proceedings, between January 2011 and November 2014, Birge embezzled and stole more than $750,000 from the Probate Court’s bank accounts.  Birge would deposit funds sent to the Probate Court for conservatorships into the Court’s bank accounts, but then wrote 342 checks payable to cash out of those accounts for her personal benefit. 

        United States Attorney Edward Tarver stated, “The victims in this case entrusted the probate court to keep money they were entitled to safe and secure. Sadly, for years the defendant was stealing and spending that money. Thanks to the investigative efforts of our law enforcement partners, she is now being held accountable for her crimes.  The United States Attorney’s Office remains committed to prosecuting corruption at every level of government and will not tolerate abuse of the public’s trust.”

        Glen M. Kessler, Resident Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, stated “Real people were harmed here.  Using the guise of her position, this defendant pilfered the probate court accounts for her own use, but the victims she left behind will suffer for her actions for years to come.  The U.S. Secret Service and our law enforcement partners will continue to root out fraud regardless of where it is found.”

The investigation of the Birge case was jointly conducted by the United States Secret Service and the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Rafferty and Scarlett S. Nokes prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.

Updated October 27, 2015