Story by Beaver County Radio News Correspondent Sandy Giordano
(Center Twp., Pa.) Former Center Township and Central Valley School District Tax Collector Jeanne Ann Bowser, ,61 was charged with 9 counts of theft by unlawful taking and 9 counts of receiving stolen property from 2011 to August 7, 2019 .
According to the criminal complaint from December 21, 2011 and August 7, 2019 Bowser did unlawfully take or exercise unlawful control over movable property, namely $622,686.83 belonging to the township and school district. with the intent to deprive the owner in violation of Section 3921 of the PA CrimesCode. She wrote 673 checks from a township tax account to herself totalling $622,686.83 to herself over the 9 nine years in an elected position as tax collector. On the receiving stolen property charge it states she did intentionally receive, retain, or dispose of movable property, namely the $622,686.83 She did write 673 checks from the township tax account to herself while the elected township tax collector.
Center Township Solicitor Nick Urick announced at the township’s meeting in October that she resigned and is under investigation. by PA State Police. A replacement had to be made by the township within 30 days. Lou Francona was hired by the township. Berkheimer was appointed as deputy director .
On October 16 State Police met with Center Township Police in regards to the theft of tax revenue and thy asked that state police take over the investigation. On the same day they met with Dr. Nick Perry, Central Valley superintendent about an audit in June or july of 2019 and it was discovered Bowser made a deposit into a wrong tax account Dr. Perry stated that Bowser was asked to submit statements and other info that could explain how the error occurred. Her attorney RAPP contacted the school district and the info was turned over to Center Twp.Police on October 9, 2019.
At some point she opened a checking account in her name only through WESBANCO and was to be used for local service tax (LST) revenue the school district hired a forensic auditor through CYPHER AND CYPHER to complete an audit on all tax accounts associated with the school district and township.
Two search warrants were completed and executed over a period of several months on the WESBANCO and provided to CPA Charles Rupert.
Bowser was interviewed on May4,2020 at the PA State Police Barracks in Brighton Township She w told investigators she estimated she had stolen approximately $500,000.00 and had always planned on paying it back
Jeanne Boswer has a hearing in Beaver County Central Court on July 8, 2020