Bicycle Retailer reports
that a Seattle bookkeeper was indicted for nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of destruction of evidence after allegedly embezzling more than $200,000 from a Seattle-area bike company.
Prosecutors said the bookkeeper, Joan C. Trower, 50, forged checks from the company’s accounting software to herself and people she knew, among other schemes. The fake checks totaled $188,000. The indictment also said she transferred at least $26,000 to a fake accounting firm she created. All in all, the indictment said the cost to the company was between $200,000 and $300,000, which she used in part to gamble at local casinos.
The indictment does not specify which bike company is involved, only that it is “a private company that manufactures and sells high-end mountain bikes and related accessories.”
Trower worked for the company on contract from 2015 until her embezzlement was discovered in 2018, according to the indictment. She was arrested Feb. 5 and released on bond with a set of conditions, including a prohibition against gambling.
We have reached out to all the major Washington State bike companies for comment. Kona and Transition have both said it isn’t them. Evil has declined to comment.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.