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Prosecutor’s Former Legal Secretary Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Money, Forgery

Knox County CourthouseBy Echo Menges

According to court documents, on Friday, October 16, 2015, criminal charges were filed against Karie Jo Holman, 31, of Novelty, for allegedly forging checks and stealing money from a private law firm, which also housed the office of the Knox County Prosecutor, Deveny, Brown & Fortney Attorneys at Law, LLC, in Edina.

Holman is accused of forging four checks and stealing a total of $916.83 between July 11, 2014, and August 13, 2014, while working for the prosecutor’s office and the private law firm.

The Probable Cause Statement filed in the case alleges Holman used her employment position with the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office and the private law firm to steal four blank checks from the firm and used a signature stamp to forge Fortney’s signature on them. The document also alleges, Holman admitted to and apologized for the thefts through in a series of texts, emails and in-person conversations with Fortney beginning on August 14, 2015.

During the time-frame the forgeries and thefts are alleged to have occurred, David Brown was the Knox County Prosecutor and responsible for all aspects of the office. Jo Fortney was the Assistant Prosecutor. Since January 1, 2015, those rolls have reversed. Jo Fortney holds the office of Knox County Prosecutor. Currently, Brown performs the duties of the Assistant Knox County Prosecutor.

This case was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control (DDCC) after missing monies were reported to the Missouri State Auditor’s Office and a “review” of the office was performed. The Auditor’s findings included violations of State Law, missing cash, and poor and sometimes nonexistent record keeping.

It was the decision of the Knox County Commission to ask DDCC to conduct a criminal investigation.

Because the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office is directly involved in this case, the Knox County Prosecutor has asked to be disqualified from the case. A Special Prosecutor from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office has been assigned to prosecute it.

Holman is facing one Class C felony count of forgery and one Class C felony count of stealing.

An arrest warrant was served on Holman on Monday, October 19, 2015. Holman posted bond in the amount of $5,000 and was released from custody. She is scheduled to appear before Knox County Associate Judge Tom Redington on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, for an arraignment.

Holman is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Court Documents:

Probable Cause Statement

Criminal Complaint

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