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February 20, 2014

Ex-Merrill banker pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former investment banker for Merrill Merchants Bank and People’s United Bank pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of embezzling nearly $3 million and evading income taxes.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty said in a press release that an investigation found Lynn Bowden, 62, of Bucksport had transferred around $2,990,000 to her personal accounts through 108 deposits and transfers of customer funds.

Investigators said the embezzlement took place between April 2005 and September 2012. Bowden began working for Merrill Merchants Bank in 2004. She continued to work with Merrill through its acquisition by the Chittenden Corp. in 2007 and its acquisition in 2008 by People’s United Bank. Prosecutors said the bank discovered Bowden’s illicit transfers in October 2012 and fired her shortly thereafter. At the time, she managed more than 200 trust and investment management accounts. Investigators charged her with evading around $750,000 in federal income tax between 2007 to 2011.

She faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the amount taken on the embezzlement charge. She faces up to five years and a $250,000 fine on the tax evasion charge.

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