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Cherokee court reporters convicted of racketeering | Crime

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Cherokee court reporters convicted of racketeering
Crime, News
Cherokee court reporters convicted of racketeering

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Three former Cherokee County court reporters will spend time in jail after pleading guilty to stealing from the county.

All three women were convicted Tuesday of racketeering. They were sentenced in Cobb County Superior Court.

Betty Petersen, Kimberly Probst and Tammy Stine were arrested last September after an investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. Police learned that since 2006, the three had billed the county for court transcripts that did not exist. They also expanded the spacing in their reports to increase the number of pages transcribed.

Court reporters are paid by the page. In 2006, they received $3.57 per page. State law regulates the number of characters and lines per page on official court transcripts.

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Before sentencing the defendants, a Cobb County judge told them that, as court employees, they should be held to a higher standard.

Stine was sentenced to eight months in jail followed by eight years on probation, and was ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution.

Petersen's sentence included six months in jail, 10 years on probation and $50,000 in restitution, while Probst was sentenced to four months in jail, 10 years on probation and $50,000 in restitution.

All three defendants were each fined an additional $1,000 as well.

The Cobb County District Attorney's Office assisted Cherokee County with its investigation.

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