Oct. 1, 2005 – Former Sen. Carlton Dowe took the stand Friday to state his innocence of charges that he committed wire fraud in connection with money owed him by the V.I. government.
Dowe, 48, was charged in August 2004 with two counts of wire fraud for allegedly over-billing the V.I. government more than $75,000 in March of 2001.
Dowe said Friday he was not aware of the details involved in his collecting $103,000 – $75,000 more than prosecutors say he was entitled to.
According to published reports on Friday's proceedings, Dowe said he is not an accountant and he was unaware of the calculations made by former Fire Service employee Rosalie Corrcino that resulted in him receiving the $103,000.
But Corrcion testified earlier in the week that Dowe had coached her on how to do the calculations that led to his alleged overpayment.
Corrcino said she didn't know Dowe had already collected approximately $50,000, and she didn't think she was breaking the law, which prosecutors allege. Corrcino also acknowledged that she accepted $300 cash and a $300 check from Dowe for handling the accounting for him. (See "Co-Worker Testifies Against Dowe").
Dowe, a former director of the V.I.'s Fire Services, won a legal settlement from the government in 2001 along with other Fire Services executives that awarded him a pay raise for college degrees. Prosecutors allege Dowe knowingly collected the pay raise twice. But, according the a report in the V.I. Daily News, Dowe testified Friday that he was not claiming anything twice, and that he was entitled to the pay.
Dowe's attorney, Treston Moore, asked Dowe if he had conspired to cheat the government, according to the Daily News. Dowe said he had not. The prosecution will have a chance to question Dowe Monday when the trial – which has already spanned five days – continues.
If Dowe is found guilty, he could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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