A former FBI special agent was sentenced today to 36 months in prison for stealing over $136,000 in drug proceeds seized during the execution of search warrants in 2014, falsifying documents and tampering with a witness.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Angel D. Gunn of the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General’s Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.
Scott M. Bowman, 45, of Moreno Valley, California, pleaded guilty on May 2, 2016, to one count of conversion of property by a federal employee, one count of obstruction of justice, one count of falsification of records and one count of witness tampering. Bowman was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the Central District of California, who also ordered Bowman to pay $136,462 in restitution.
According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Bowman misappropriated drug proceeds seized during the execution of three search warrants in June and August 2014 after they were transferred to his custody in his official capacity as a federal law enforcement officer. Bowman admitted that he proceeded to spend the stolen money for his own personal use and enjoyment, including tens of thousands of dollars on vehicles and new equipment, including speakers, rims and tires. Bowman also used $15,000 of the misappropriated cash to pay for cosmetic surgery for his spouse and opened a new checking account into which he deposited $10,665 of the stolen funds, he admitted.
According to the plea agreement, in order to conceal his embezzlement, Bowman falsified official FBI reports and submitted a deposit receipt – with a forged signature – that understated the amount of proceeds he had actually seized at the search site. In October 2014, Bowman sent emails to a local police detective containing a detailed cover story that the detective was instructed to provide in case he was asked about Bowman’s handling of the drug proceeds and a copy of the receipt with the forged signature so that the detective could falsely claim the forged signature as his own, Bowman admitted.
The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section prosecuted the case.