Former tax collector admits to stealing more than $ 1 million in funds | Pennsylvania News


CENTER, Pa. (AP) – The longtime former tax collector from a western Pennsylvania city admitted on Thursday that he stole more than $ 1 million in funds dating back to 2011.

Jeanne Bowser, of Center Township, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax report after dropping the indictment by a grand jury. She faces a lengthy prison term when sentenced on September 28 and will also have to pay $ 1,028,000 in restitution and $ 275,000 for taxes she did not pay on the stolen funds.

Bowser had collected taxes for the Center and the Central Valley School District for several decades before resigning in 2019 after an audit. The Beaver County District Attorney’s Office filed various charges against her the following year, but those charges were later withdrawn and the case referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As of 2011, Bowser wrote himself checks totaling $ 622,702 and deposited them into his own bank account, according to court documents. As of 2013, she collected an additional $ 405,496 in cash payments and also deposited them into her own bank account.

Bowser shuffled tax payments for the city so it had access to more money, prosecutors said, noting that it was using school taxes to pay municipal taxes and vice versa. She also made false statements to tax authorities indicating that tax payments were collected and paid when they were not, prosecutors said.

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Esther L. Steinbach