An executive from Lake Wylie who embezzled $25 million from a North Carolina fire equipment company failed to pay income taxes on the stolen loot, federal prosecutors said.
Bryan S. Bower, 51, was sentenced Friday to 41 months in federal prison for failure to pay income tax on $25 million in embezzled money, said Assistant U.S. Attorney for South Carolina T. DeWayne Pearson.
Bower was top management at Buckeye Fire Equipment in Kings Mountain, N.C. From 2010 to 2013, Bower stole $25 million from customer payments to the company, Pearson said.
Bower then failed to pay $9 million in income taxes on the money that he stole from his employer. Bower pleaded guilty in February to tax evasion.
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The Internal Revenue Service investigated the case against Bower.
“Mr. Bower’s embezzlement scheme to steal from his employer while also deliberately under-reporting his embezzlement income on his federal tax returns was motivated by greed,” said Matthew D. Line, IRS agent who led the investigation.
Line said the sentence against Bower “is a reminder that there are detrimental consequences to this kind of criminal behavior.”
Federal agents and prosecutors said the company and its customers were “innocent victims.”
Bower is not eligible for parole and will serve the full 41 months, prosecutors said.