Oct. 3, 2005 – The defense rested its case Monday in the wire fraud trial of ex-Sen. Carlton Dowe, who contradicted a prosecution witness' testimony by saying he never instructed the Fire Services accountant to pay him $103,000.
Dowe, 48, was charged in August 2004 with two counts of wire fraud for allegedly over-billing the Virgin Islands government more than $75,000 in 2001. Dowe testified Friday and said he was innocent. (See "Dowe Says He Is Innocent As He Takes the Stand Friday".)
Dowe, a former Fire Services director, said he did not know beforehand how much money he would receive and simply accepted the amount former fire accountant Rosalie Corcino said was due to him for back pay.
Corcino testified last week that Dowe came to her repeatedly, telling her how to add raises due to him because he achieved college degrees in his field. Those raises are called career-incentive pay.
At question is whether Dowe's $50,000 settlement of a suit against the government in 1999 for extra pay excluded him from collecting the career-incentive pay.
Dowe, who maintains he was entitled to career incentive from as far back as 1991, said prosecutors and government inspectors were trying to trap him.
"I told them repeatedly, you bring your accountant and I will bring mine," Dowe said. "There came a point in time where it was apparent to me Mr. (Nicholas) Peru had no interest in the truth." Peru is an investigator with the V.I. Inspector General's Office.
Monday's hearing ended with Judge Raymond Finch instructing the jury on how to deliberate the evidence and what was necessary for them to find Dowe innocent or guilty.
If convicted, Dowe could face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Tuesday.
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