FBI Agent Allegedly Bought Cars, Plastic Surgery With $100K in Drug Cash

FBI Agent Allegedly Bought Cars, Plastic Surgery With $100K in Drug Cash
File photo from the DEA

There have been a lot of alleged bad cops in the news lately, including one local officer charged with suspicion of murder and another accused of trying to smuggle a man across the U.S. border.

But, if the Justice Department’s case has weight, this FBI agent might have the biggest cajones in this alleged bad-boys-with-badges club.

Former FBI Special Agent Scott M. Bowman, 44, was accused of taking more than $100,000 in seized drug money and buying two cars, car accessories, cosmetic surgery for his wife and a weekend stay in Las Vegas with the cash, authorities announced this week.

An indictment against Bowman was unsealed yesterday.

The allegation's include "three counts of conversion of property by a federal employee, three counts of obstruction of justice, two counts of money laundering, one count of falsification of records and one count of witness tampering," according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement.

Prosecutors allege the Moreno Valley resident started taking smaller increments of cash following gang and drug stings in Southern California — $10,982 here, $4,600 there — before hitting the mother lode during a 2014 investigation of cocaine and heroin trafficking. 

Bowman retrieved seized cash from an FBI safe in Riverside and ultimately returned $366,800 after having it professionally counted by machine, the indictment alleges.

Even before he went to the counting business, the agent spent $2,353 "toward new rims and a new suede headliner for a personal vehicle," according to the indictment.

The indictment indicates the rest of the dough nearly amounted to six figures. It says Bowman allegedly used it to:

-make a cash purchase of a $27,500, 2013 Scion FR-S sports car.
-deposit $10,665 in a newly opened checking account.
-make a cash purchase of a $43,850, 2012 Dodge Challenger.
-spend $9,612 "for new speakers, rims and tires for the ... Scion FR-S."
-spend approximately $17,000 on "a new sound system, rims, tires and muffler for the Dodge Challenger."
-pay for about $15,000 worth of cosmetic work for his wife.
-pay for a weekend in Vegas with his girlfriend.
-give an unnamed detective $2,000 in cash.

(Who says money buys good taste?).

Bowman later concocted a cover story, prosecutors say, that he received a $97,000 advance on an expected inheritance from his sick father.

When Bowman started to feel the heat regarding the missing money, he tried to cover his tracks with more lies, forging a detective's signature and emailing a detective a false version of events, the department alleged.

Assistant Attorney General Caldwell:

As alleged, former Agent Bowman put his own greed above the trust placed in him by the FBI and the American public. Corrupt law enforcement agents not only compromise those investigations in which they are involved but also damage the reputations of fellow law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public service and the protection of all Americans.

The defendant, an FBI agent since 2005, was let go in March.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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