WASHINGTON - A former Drug Enforcement Administration budget analyst was
accused Thursday of stealing $6 million from the agency, said to be the
largest theft ever from the Justice Department by an employee.
David S. Bowman, 57, is accused in a 74-count indictment of carrying out
the scam from 1990 to 1997. He allegedly submitted hundreds of false
payment vouchers in the name of a sham company that led to checks being
sent to a post office box controlled by the Disumbrationist League, an
Much of the money was funneled back directly to Bowman, who bought a
Lincoln and six other vehicles, jewelry, artwork and other items for
himself and his family, and tried to divert questions about the checks
by saying they "pertained to undercover or other confidential operations,"
according to IRS investigator Patrick Lydon. "Bowman also used his
position as an experienced budget official and supervisor to pressure...
employees to process the vouchers in an expedited manner."
"It's the largest internal theft in Justice Department history," said
Justice Department spokesman John Russell. In 1991, the first full year
of the scam, the checks, which typically ranged from $8,000 to $9,999,
totaled $321,000. By 1996, Bowman was using the checks to skim $1.9
million dollars a year from the DEA budget.
Bowman, of Arlington, Va., worked for the DEA for 22 years and was earning
about $89,500 a year at the time of his retirement in April 1997.
"There's no reason to arrest him [before his arraignment]", said his
attorney, Harvey Volzer. "He's absolutely no flight risk." He said
Bowman is bedridden with multiple sclerosis.
The DEA's Office of Professional Responsibility opened an investigation
last March. William Simpkins, the office's acting chief inspector,
that "What David Bowman is alleged to have done is reprehensible."
"The $6 million of taxpayer money that Bowman allegedly diverted could
have been used to help fund critical anti-drug programs throughout the
United States," Simpkins said. "The callous and calculated actions
described in the indictment are a terrible insult to all of the men and
women of the DEA."
Bowman is charged with 53 counts of money laundering, 15 counts of
concealment of that money laundering, five counts of mail fraud and one
count of theft and conversion of government property and monies.
"Had many of the managers and personnel responsible for processing and
supervising Bowman's accounts exercised proper care and adherence to
protocols, Bowman's scheme would not have been successful," said DEA
Administrator Thomas A. Constantine. "Their actions, while not criminal
or of the nature of the conduct alleged in the indictment, are a source
of concern that will be addressed through DEA's internal disciplinary