Carrie Frances Bowerman, 56, of Olivet, was sentenced Aug. 20 for the crime of Embezziement $20,000-$49,999 by an Agent or Trustee, a felony carrying up to 10 years in prison. The embezzlement occurred while she worked as a deputy treasurer for the City of Charlotte between July 2013 and February 2014. Bowerman pled guilty in late June in return for a higher felony, Embezzlement $50,000-$99,999, being dismissed and restitution being stipulated at $79,350.03 payable to the City of Charlotte.
Eaton County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Sauter sentenced Bowerman to 180 days in jail as condition of five years of probation. Work release was denied. Bowerman must play restitution at a minimum of $100 per month, perform at least 100 community service hours, not participate in any gambling activities or enter any gambling or gaming establishments, and is prohibited from work where she has control over or access to another person’s money.
Information presented in the sentencing hearing was that Bowerman gambled at a local casino, Firekeeper’s outside Battle Creek, several times per week on average, and lost $50,000 at that casino alone. However, Bowerman denied having a gambling addiction, and attributed her casino trips to simply “going out with the girls.”
Eaton County Prosecutor, Douglas Lloyd, argued at the Aug. 20 hearing for a prison sentence for Bowerman because the actions of Bowerman violated the trust of the citizens of Charlotte to its very core. The defendant was placed in a position of trust by the City of Charlotte and violated that trust by stealing citizen’s tax payments and then covering that loss by manipulating the books.
Charlotte’s Financial Director Christine Mossner, spoke on behalf of the City, and said that Bowerman not only took advantage of the City but the people who worked in the department as well. Mossner said the people who work in the office pride themselves on their service to the citizens of Charlotte and Bowerman’s action not only caused the City to look bad but was damaging to the workers as well. Mossner told the court that as soon as this embezzlement was discovered, Bowerman was placed on leave until a full investigation was completed.
Lloyd said, “This is an important case for all government employees who handle the people’s money, particularly those in treasurers’ and clerks’ offices. The public relies on each of them to be honest and trustworthy, and be assured that when they pay hard-earned money for taxes, fees, traffic tickets or other matters, they can then go about their business without worry. What Carrie Bowerman did rocked the foundation of that trust in and around Charlotte.”
Lloyd also thanked Det. Jeff Younker with the Michigan State Police for their assistance in the case’s investigation.
Bowerman was represented by attorney John Deming, of Grand Ledge.
Article submitted by the Eaton County Prosecutor’s office.