Bucksport woman pleads guilty to embezzling nearly $3 million from bank

Posted Feb. 19, 2014, at 1:48 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 19, 2014, at 5:17 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Bucksport woman waived indictment Wednesday and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling nearly $3 million from a Maine bank and lying on her tax returns.

Lynn M. Bowden, 62, pleaded guilty to one count each of theft by a bank employee and making a false return, according to information posted on the court’s electronic case filing system.

A sentencing date has not been set.

She was released on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Bowden worked at People’s United Bank from May 2004 to Oct. 26, 2012, when she was fired, according to the prosecution version of events to which she pleaded guilty. She served as a wealth management officer and managed more than 200 trust and investment management accounts during that time.

She worked at the Bangor branch, according to Valerie Carlson, first vice president for corporate communications in Bridgeport, Conn.

She came to the attention of bank managers in October 2012 when she tried to transfer $50,000 from a client’s account to her own. When a fellow bank employee questioned the transfer, Bowden said it was a mistake, the court document said. That led to an examination of other internal transfers made by Bowden.

Between April 4, 2005, and Sept. 26, 2012, Bowden made 108 deposits and transfers from customer accounts to her own totaling nearly $3 million, according to the prosecution version of events. She placed the funds first in her own account, then transferred smaller amounts to accounts she held jointly with family members.

“An employee in a position of trust deliberately circumvented established procedures,” Carlson said Wednesday. “We take our fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. We met with the affected clients as soon as we had information and provided them with the facts and full restitution.”

Bowden did not report the embezzled funds when she filed her tax returns. She owes more than $750,000 in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to her plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office.

The plea agreement does not specify what sentence would be recommended to U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby. Bowden agreed not to appeal her sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston if it is no longer than five years and three months.

The plea agreement also said that at sentencing Bowden would be ordered to pay back taxes and restitution to the bank. A restitution figure is not included in the agreement. It states that she would repay the bank whatever is not covered by insurance.

 

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