Sept. 29, 2005 — Federal prosecutors said they had presented all their evidence against former Sen. Carlton Dowe, resting their case late Thursday afternoon.
The prosecution's final witness Stephen J. Kiraly, an expert in analyzing and reconstructing financial records, testified Dowe should not have been paid the $103,000 he received from the V.I. Fire Services in March 2001.
Kiraly said the amount was more than $75,000 too high because it figured in career incentive payments Dowe, a former fire services director, had already been paid.
Dowe's attorney, Treston Moore, asked Kiraly to add the figures several other ways, each of which the accountant said was incorrect.
Former Fire Services Director Sen. Pedro Encarnacion testified Wednesday, saying he signed alleged fraudulent payments in excess of $100,000 to Dowe without a second thought because he trusted his staff.
Encarnacion testified for the prosecution in the third day of Dowe's fraud trial saying he had no inkling Dowe had already collected $50,000 in pay owed to him and was, as prosecutors contend, double-billing the Virgin Islands government.
Shortly after the freshman Senator's testimony, Linda Herbert, a former certifying officer with the fire department who routinely signed expense and payment vouchers, said she found the payment to Dowe highly suspicious and called the documents in question to Encarnacion's attention.
Herbert also said she did not re-calculate the payment numbers, but did find it odd Dowe paid former fire service accountant Rosalie Corrcino an "enormous amount of overtime."
Corrcino testified Tuesday that she helped then-Sen. Dowe arrange payroll paperwork to collect more than $103,000 — some $75,000 more than prosecutors say he was entitled to. Corrcino said she accepted $300 cash and a $300 check from Dowe for the service.
Corrcino said she didn't know Dowe had already collected some $50,000 and didn't think she was breaking the law, as prosecutors allege.
Dowe, 48, was charged in August 2004 with two counts of wire fraud for allegedly over-billing the U.S. Virgin Islands government more than $75,000 in March of 2001.
Dowe won a legal settlement from the government in 2001 along with seven other fire service executives that awarded him a pay raise for college degrees. Dowe, who has pleaded innocent, collected the pay raise twice, prosecutors alleged.
Prosecutors also played a 107-minute long video tape of investigators interviewing Dowe on Feb. 14, 2002.
The rambling video taped conversations hit a dramatic peak when investigators presented Dowe for the first time with evidence that he allegedly double- billed the government.
Dowe responded that the records being used against him were incomplete and that investigators were not getting the whole story. Shortly thereafter Dowe said he didn't want to talk anymore.
Earlier in the week Corrcino said she suspected something was wrong in January 2002 when Dowe asked her to meet him in a parking lot, allegedly coaching her on how to lie to federal investigators.
Corrcino said she initially lied to the investigators, claiming no one had instructed her to process the payments to Dowe.
After two interview with by Virgin Islands' Inspector General officers,
Corrcino said she agreed to secretly tape record two conversations with Dowe.
If found guilty, Dowe could face 20 years in prison and a US$250,000 fine.
The jury trial, which started Monday afternoon, is scheduled to continue Friday with the defense's case.
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