“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,” James Struyk, acting assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said in the release.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Bowman “admitted to using the cash to fund a lavish spending spree” — allegations that were detailed in the plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Bowman purchased a 2013 Toyota Scion FR-S coupe, a 2012 Dodge Challenger coupe, and new sound equipment, rims and other improvements for those vehicles, according to the release. He also spent $15,000 on his spouse’s cosmetic surgery.
“Mr. Bowman accepted full responsibility for his role in the charged offenses,” his attorney, James W. Spertus, told the Times in a statement. “We remain hopeful that the Department of Justice will accept cooperation from Mr. Bowman to investigate and root out corruption in San Bernardino, rather than continuing to ignore the problem there.”
In total, Bowman — whom the Times reported was fired from the FBI last year — stole more than $136,000, the news release states. The money was initially seized when authorities executed search warrants in 2014.
In June 2014, Bowman and other members of a task force seized a briefcase containing cash during a search of a hotel room in Azusa, Calif., according to the plea agreement. A member of the task force gave Bowman more than $10,000, but he pocketed the money instead of entering it into evidence. The same month, there was also $4,600, seized during a search of an apartment in Ontario, Calif., which was believed to be the home of people connected to a drug distribution organization, the plea agreement says.
Then, in August 2014, authorities recovered money from a large safe, found during a search of a San Bernardino, Calif., home. Money was transferred to an FBI facility and stored overnight. But Bowman later opened the evidence bags and took some of the cash for himself, the plea agreement says.
To cover up the missing money, 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,” the release says.