United States v. Birge, No. 15-15043 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Defendant, the Chief Clerk of the Probate Court of Chatham County, plead guilty to one count of mail fraud and the district court sentenced her to 72 months in prison. Defendant had access to bank accounts controlled by the probate court and wrote herself $767,218.99 in checks drawn from conservatorship accounts belonging to 31 minors, 2 incapacitated adults, and 2 estates. As the chief clerk of a probate court, defendant knew or should have known that in Georgia, conservators are appointed to protect the assets of those who lack the capacity to do so themselves. Therefore, the court concluded that the district court did not err in applying the vulnerable victim enhancement pursuant to USSG 3A1.1(b)(1) because defendant knew or should have known that the victims of her scheme were vulnerable. Accordingly, the court affirmed the sentence.