Former FBI Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement of Drug Proceeds and Obstruction of Justice
WASHINGTON – A former FBI special agent pleaded guilty today for stealing over $136,000 of drug proceeds seized during the execution of search warrants in 2014 and falsifying reports 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 Los Angeles Field Office made the announcement.
Scott M. Bowman, 45, of Moreno Valley, California, pleaded guilty 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 before U.S. District Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the Central District of California. Sentencing is set for Aug. 15.
In connection with his plea, Bowman admitted that he 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 then spent the stolen money for his own personal use, including by spending $43,850 to purchase a 2012 Dodge Challenger coupe, $27,500 to purchase a 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S coupe and $26,612 to outfit these vehicles with new speakers, rims, tires and other equipment. Bowman also admitted that he 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.
In order to conceal his embezzlement, Bowman falsified official FBI reports, submitted a receipt with a forged signature and asked a local police detective to provide false information to law enforcement officers if asked about Bowman’s activities with respect to the drug proceeds. Specifically, Bowman sent emails to the local police detective in October 2014 containing a detailed cover story that the detective was instructed to provide and a copy of the receipt with the forged signature, so that the detective could falsely claim the forged signature as his own.
“When the FBI became aware of allegations of misconduct by defendant Bowman, FBI management took immediate action by contacting the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General,” said Acting Assistant Director in Charge James Struyk of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “As Mr. Bowman takes responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty, the public should be reminded that FBI personnel are held to the highest standards and misconduct of any kind is taken very seriously.”
This case was investigated by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lauren Bell and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.