Cherokee County court reporters charged with theft

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. -- Three Woodstock women were arrested for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from Cherokee County.

Betty Petersen, 73, and Kimberly Probst, 50, have been charged with racketeering, theft by taking, theft by deception and giving false statements. They turned themselves in to police on Sunday.

The third suspect, 55-year-old Tammy Stine, turned herself in Monday. She faces the same charges.

Police began investigating the women in mid-July, when district attorney Shannon Wallace asked the sheriff's office to look into court reporter billing irregularities.

Baker said the suspects intentionally mis-formatted court records, then billed Cherokee County for non-existent pages. He said Petersen stole nearly $80,000, while Probst took almost $60,000. Stine is accused of stealing nearly $350,000.

Police discovered evidence of thefts as far back as 2006.

Petersen has since been released from jail on a magistrate's order for medical reasons, while Probst is being held on $183,939 bond. Stine's bond was set at $253,827; she is still in custody.

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