A Spotsylvania County woman who was accused of teaming up with her mother to steal nearly $900,000 from a Fredericksburg company will serve six years in prison.
Janis Lee Bowen, 60, pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement and three counts of forgery Monday in Fredericksburg Circuit Court. As part of a plea agreement, she will be sentenced July 22 to a total of 30 years in prison, with all but six years suspended.
Bowen will remain free on bond until her sentencing as part of the deal worked out by defense attorney Mark Murphy and prosecutor Justin Witt. In addition, a number of other charges against her were dropped.
Bowen’s mother, 84-year-old Mary Catherine Parr of Stafford County, faces multiple theft-related charges in connection with the same incidents. She has a trial scheduled to start July 17 in the city.
According to the evidence presented by Witt, Bowen and Parr were both accountants at I.C.E. Heating and Cooling at 451 Central Road in the city. Bowen was in charge of accounts payable and Parr handled accounts receivable for the company.
They worked for the company from 2013 until April of last year, when company officials learned that hundreds of thousands of dollars were missing after bringing in an outside accountant, Susan Delgado, to review the books.
Witt said the women were writing checks to themselves and depositing money in their personal accounts. They would then go into the company system and delete references to the checks in question.
Witt said more and more stolen funds were discovered as the investigation went on. Witt said investigators finally settled on a figure of $886,324, though he said it could have been even higher.
Murphy said the restitution order agreed to requires Bowen to pay back $100 a month once she gets out of prison. At that rate, it would take more than 738 years for the debt to be fully repaid.
Both Bowen and Parr had histories of theft prior to their associations with I.C.E. Heating and Cooling. Bowen had three felony convictions in Fairfax in 2002 and was ordered to pay $70,000 in restitution, court records show.
Parr has a far more extensive record that includes 20 theft-related felony convictions dating back to 1974. Court records state that she used money stolen from I.C.E. Heating and Cooling to pay some of the $135,000 she owed from a grand larceny conviction in Loudoun County in 2012.