EXCLUSIVE: Mother reacts to court clerk indictment after trust f - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Mother reacts to court clerk indictment after trust fund money lost

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A mother talked to WTOC and said trust fund money for her children is gone and blames the former Chatham County probate court clerk who was recently indicted for fraud. 

Kim Birge was indicted by a federal grand jury this week for mail fraud and federal program fraud. She's accused of embezzling more than $700,000 from the Probate Court's bank accounts; money that was supposed to go the children who lost family in the Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion in 2008.
 
She said she had no idea the money was gone until her son went to collect the money when he turned 18.

Latesha Habersham-McCombs said she never saw it coming. She and her three children have been trying to move on with life after their father  was killed in the Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion in 2008. 

A trust fund was set up for each of them to have access to when they turn 18. Her oldest son was able to collect the money from his trust fund a couple of years ago, but when her middle child turned 18 this past fall, that's when she realized something was up.

"When I called and talked to Kim, Kim told me just to make sure I have his driver's license and she said that's all we need and we can go from there. But when I called her back to set up a time to go, I could never get an answer," Habersham-McCombs said. 

She said she kept getting the runaround until she finally learned that more than $20,000 that had been set aside for her son was gone.

According to the indictment, Birge would write checks payable to cash, forge signatures and then use the cash for personal benefit. Stealing more than $700,000. It wasn't until they interview that McCombs found out there are other victims out there.

She said the money was going to pay for college, but now she's unsure he'll ever see that money.

"I just wish that it was here for him to really enjoy because I think him getting that money would have actually given him more closure to the fact that his dad is gone," Habersham-McCombs said. 

She said her youngest child was going to get about $26,000 next year, but that money is also gone. 

If convicted, Birge could face up to 20 years in prison. 

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