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Press Release

St. Paul Accountant Sentenced To 41 Months In Prison For Long-Term Embezzlement Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker announced the sentencing of JOHN WILLIAM ROWAN, 65, to 41 months in prison for stealing more than $1.2 million from the insurance company where he was employed for more than 20 years. ROWAN, who pleaded guilty on January 19, 2017, to one count of wire fraud, was sentenced on May 5, 2017, before U.S. District Judge Susan R. Nelson in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.


“Over the course of nearly two decades, this defendant systematically abused the trust of his employer to steal more than $1.2 million,” said Acting United States Attorney Gregory G. Brooker. “This case exemplifies the seriousness of embezzlement and the damage it causes to small business owners. Criminals who engage in this type of conduct will be brought to justice.”


“Rowan abused his position of trust as he stole more than $1.2 million from the insurance business that employed him for many years,” said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “He diverted business funds to his own personal use while concealing his fraudulent activity. The case was the result of close cooperation involving the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau with local and federal law enforcement.”


According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, from at least October 1995 until July 2015, ROWAN, as the accountant and controller of his company, exploited his access to his employer’s financial accounts and stole more than $1.2 million. Using his insider knowledge of how the company managed its financial transactions, ROWAN issued a total of 150 unauthorized checks to himself from the company’s bank accounts causing a total loss of $1,216,218.64.


This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau, and the North St. Paul Police Department.


This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle E. Jones.



Defendant Information:



St. Paul, Minn.



  • Wire fraud, 1 count


  • 41 months in prison

  • Three years of supervised release

  • $ 1,216,218.64 in restitution



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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600


Updated May 9, 2017