by Jon Schuessler
A Navy veteran and a Springfield policeman of 18 years, Joey Kyle was elected in 2008 as the county sheriff for Christian County. In 2011, the Missouri Deputy Sheriffs’ Association named Joey Kyle “Sheriff of the Year”. Kyle was re-elected in 2012, seemingly the model of honesty.
Marty Brickey, one of Kyle’s reserve deputies, was Kyle’s friend. He was also a strong contributor to both of Kyle’s election campaigns. Brickey had a side interest in the video game industry, which appeared to pay off handsomely.
Brickey secretly paid Kyle $20,000 to promote his video games to potential investors. Investors were told fanciful tales about Brickey’s business ventures – that celebrities were close to investing, and that his video games were coming to market soon. People invested millions of dollars based upon Kyle’s word.
In reality, Marty Brickey used the money to pay his own expenses. He hired a few programmers at Interzone Entertainment (one of five game companies he owned), but never paid any taxes and never came close to producing a game.
Meanwhile, Joey Kyle was stealing money using fake invoices for items that were never purchased. He did this with the help of a gun store, EDI plus, from which he would “purchase” the equipment.
Starting in 2010, auditors were finding minor problems with Kyle’s credit card purchases. In 2013, an audit uncovered serious problems. By then, Brickey was also under investigation, after investors began demanding their money back.The Aftermath:
In May of 2015, Sheriff Joey Kyle resigned and pled guilty to embezzlement and fraud, in return for a sentence of 1 day and 1 year in jail. He agreed to pay more than $70,000 and return all county-purchased property.
On June 10th, 2014, Reserve Deputy Marty Brickey was indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for 30 counts involving the $14.5 million video game fraud scheme, including money laundering and wire fraud. Almost a year later, on May 6th, 2015, additional charges were filed, including failure to pay employment taxes.
The case is still ongoing in federal court.(Click here for the story of Joey Kyle's conviction)
Jon Schuessler is a Volunteer leader in Jefferson County, and the chairman for Missouri Volunteers for Government Reform, a Political Action Committee (PAC) of the Volunteer Movement. Click here to read his bio or contact him.