Thursday, May 21, 2015
Christian County sheriff pleads guilty to embezzling, money laundering
The elected sheriff of Christian County, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to embezzling county funds and to his role in laundering the proceeds of a political supporter’s investment fraud scheme.
“This elected sheriff stole taxpayers’ money and treated the county coffers as his own personal piggy bank,” Dickinson said. “Sheriff Kyle took money that was supposed to be for firearms and other supplies needed by his deputies. But his greed wasn’t limited to public dollars or to the taxpayers whose trust he betrayed. He also abused his position to promote a political supporter’s investment fraud scheme, and even used the criminal profits from the scheme to help bankroll his reelection.
“The shameful actions of this defendant shouldn’t cast a shadow on the integrity and dedication of the vast majority of honest law enforcement officers,” Dickinson said. “No one is above the law. This disgraced law enforcement officer will be held accountable for his actions.”
Joseph “Joey” Edward Kyle, 53, of Ozark, Mo., waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to a federal information that charges him with one count of embezzling from Christian County and one count of participating in a money-laundering conspiracy.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Kyle must immediately resign his office as sheriff of Christian County. Kyle was elected to the sheriff’s office in 2008 and reelected in 2012.