Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher said Friday his deputies returned Birge, 65, from a federal prison in West Virginia to the local jail about 4 p.m. Thursday.
And defense attorney Steve Sparger said Friday that Birge has a court appearance on Thursday before Senior Superior Court Judge David Cavender where she is expected to be arraigned on the new charges.
Cavender also is expected to hear Sparger’s bond motion for Birge, the attorney said.
The visiting judge is handling the case after the six Chatham County Superior Court judges recused themselves.
Birge is nearing the end of her six-year prison sentence imposed in 2015 for her guilty plea to stealing $223,000 from the Probate Court.
Her scheduled release date is Dec. 29, 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prison database. The same database reported Birge was not in Bureau of Prison’s custody on Friday.
As part of her federal sentence from U.S. District Judge William T. Moore, Birge must serve a three-year supervised release term after completion of her federal custody sentence.
Meanwhile, the Chatham County grand jury on May 29 returned a 39-count indictment including violation of her oath as a public officer for alleged theft of funds from accounts in her office over a two-year period.
The indictment charged the Birge “pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to the dummy accounts,” but “has not faced any criminal charges related to the earlier activity of theft and fraud on individual existing accounts, disbursement, and expenditures.”
It then named Birge in separate theft by taking counts for each victim with sums of with a greater or less than value of $500, but did not give a total sum taken
Chatham County Assistant District Attorney Scott Robichaux, who obtained the indictment and will prosecute the charges, filed documents with federal officials to have Birge returned for the local prosecution.
The new indictment charged Birge with racketeering activity by obtaining interest in and control of real estate and personal property by improperly managing Probate Court funds and accounts by forging or altering documents related to disbursements and expenditures for her personal use.
It said her scheme grew from early racketeering involving stealing from existing accounts to “become more sophisticated and created dummy accounts into which she would initially deposit and then take the monies from these dummy accounts.”
Full Article & Source:
Former Probate Court clerk Kim Birge returned from federal prison to face local charges
Attorney tells jury Kim Birge stole more than $1 million from Savannah victims
Former clerk Kim Birge sentenced to six years in federal custody, ordered to make restitution
UPDATE: Ex-Probate clerk Kim Birge to plead guilty in theft case on Friday
Kim Birge pleads not guilty to Probate Court fraud charges
Former Probate Court clerk Kim Birge indicted in theft of more than $700,000 from the court