Former Chief Financial Officer Faces Charges for Failing to Pay Over $3.6M in Employee Tax Withholdings and for Pocketing $130,000 from his Employer’s Bank Account
A former chief financial officer and vice president of finance for a company with offices in Oklahoma made an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday for failing to pay over to the IRS $3.6 million in income and FICA tax withholdings and for embezzling more than $130,000 from the company.
Paul B. Bowker, 60, a British national faces seven counts of failure to account for and pay over withholding and FICA (Social Security) taxes and 100 counts of bank fraud. Bowker waived his right to a detention hearing and was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.
Bowker was a permanent resident alien of the United States at the time of the crimes. In 2019, after he was interviewed by federal agents and made aware of the criminal investigation, he fled to the United Kingdom.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office eventually received a tip that led to Bowker’s arrest, and the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs worked with officials from the United Kingdom to ensure Bowker's extradition to the United States for prosecution.
As part of the scheme, Bowker was the chief financial officer and vice president of finance at a company that maintained offices in the Northern District of Oklahoma. In his role at the company, Bowker was responsible for withholding income taxes and FICA taxes from employees’ paychecks and for paying the monies over to the IRS. The Indictment alleges that from April 2014 through January 2016, Bowker withheld the funds but failed to pay over to the IRS more than $3.6 million worth of income and FICA taxes.
In addition, Bowker is charged with bank fraud. As chief financial officer, Bowker was entrusted with a company credit card and was responsible for paying the monthly credit card bill by authorizing the electronic transfer of funds from the company’s checking account at Mabrey Bank, in Bixby, to the company’s Visa account. From January 2014 through December 2015, Bowker is alleged to have fraudulently used the Visa credit card to make $130,000 worth of purchases for his own benefit then paying for those charges with funds from the company’s checking account at Mabrey Bank.
IRS/Criminal Investigation and the FBI are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles M. McLoughlin and Richard M. Cella are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.