published on May 3, 2016 - 6:25 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

(AP) — A former FBI special agent pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $136,000 in suspected drug money, which led to criminal charges being dropped against more than a dozen people.

Scott M. Bowman, 45, of Moreno Valley, entered pleas to federal charges of conversion of property by a federal employee, obstruction of justice, falsifying records, and witness tampering.

“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 a statement.

Bowman was part of a task force based in San Bernardino that targeted gang-related crime. As part of his plea agreement, Bowman acknowledged that he took drug proceeds that were seized during three searches in 2014.

He then went on a three-week spree, spending nearly $100,000 of drug money on cars and accessories, funding his wife’s plastic surgery and taking his girlfriend to Las Vegas, where he paid $1,000 for tickets to a boxing match, prosecutors said.

Bowman told colleagues that he had received an advance on his inheritance from his sick father, and he tried to hide the thefts by falsifying FBI reports and asking a police detective to lie about Bowman’s activities, authorities said.

Bowman’s arrest disrupted the prosecution of a case he had investigated, leading authorities to seek the dismissal of drug and gun charges against 14 people.

Bowman was fired last year.

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