Former Cape Girardeau lawyer pleads guilty to stealing $325,000

By Heartland News

BLOOMFIELD, MO (KFVS) - A former Cape Girardeau lawyer pleaded guilty to stealing Monday in a Stoddard County courtroom.

Joe T. Buerkle, 67, pleaded guilty to class B felony of stealing at least $25,000 from The Donald P. Thomasson Irrevocable Trust from February 27, 2006 to August 28, 2007.

Buerkle stole $325,000 from the trust, according to Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

The trust had been set up for Thomasson's children until they reached a certain age.

The plea was made in Stoddard County after a Stoddard County judge was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court after local judges recused themselves because they knew Buerkle.

Buerkle faces five to 15 years in prison.

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