CENTER, Pa. (AP) — The former longtime tax collector for a western Pennsylvania town admitted Thursday to stealing more than $1 million in funds dating back to 2011.

Jeanne Bowser, of Center Township, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax report after waiving indictment by grand jury. She faces a lengthy prison term when she’s sentenced Sept. 28 and will also have to pay $1,028,000 in restitution and $275,000 for the taxes she didn’t pay on the stolen funds.

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Bowser had collected taxes for Center and the Central Valley School District for several decades before resigning in 2019 after an audit. The Beaver County District Attorney’s Office filed various charges against her the following year, but those counts were later withdrawn and the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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Starting in 2011, Bowser wrote checks to herself totaling $622,702 and deposited them in her own bank account, according to court documents. Beginning in 2013, she collected another $405,496 in cash payments and also deposited those in her own bank account.

Bowser commingled tax payments for the town so she would have access to more money, prosecutors said, noting that she used school taxes to pay township taxes and vice versa. She also made false representations to tax authorities indicating that tax payments were being collected and remitted when they were not, prosecutors said.

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