BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Bangor man charged with embezzling more than $145,000 from two local non-profit organizations pleaded guilty in court today, under a plea deal.
62-year-old Bruce Fowle is accused of taking more than $42,000 from Kiwanis and just more than $103,000 from the 4th of July Corporation.
Since 1998 Fowle had been a member and acting treasurer of both the 4th of July Corporation and the Breakfast Kiwanis Club until July of 2012. During that time, police say Fowle had embezzled more than $145,000 between the two non-profit organizations.
On Thursday Fowle plead guilty to the two counts of thefts, one for each organization. Fowle said that it all started 10 years ago when he took $200 to make up for a personal short fall, and it all snowballed from there.
Anthony Bernatche, President of the Bangor 4th of July Corporation and Member of Board of Directors of Breakfast Kiwanis, said records showed that Fowle had made 49 cash withdrawals from the 4th of July Corporation's account.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts added that in July of last year Fowle transferred funds to a different financial institution that was not his own, withdrawals that came with no reason.
The plea deal was 9 months in jail plus a $10,000 restitution, but the judge wants to take time to go back into his records to see how he ruled similar cases in the past before accepting the plea deal.
Bernatche says money from the Kiwanis was supposed to go towards underprivileged and terminally ill children. "A lot of that money was thought by the board on the Kiwanis side given to other non-profit charities such as Camp Sunshine, which is a camp for terminally ill children, Camp Capella and the board of directors say the money was given to those organizations but yet it never was and it was used for Mr. Fowles personal gain. So there are children out there that had sufferered the ability to have a little bit of enjoyment in their possible final days of lives," said Bernatche.
Bernatche added that one of the hardest parts about this moving forward is gaining back the trust of their donors as they have lost credibility in the community, but says that one bad apple won't ruin a whole batch when it comes to the members of both organizations.
He says so far they have raised $25,000 for this years 4th of July celebration. Their goal is $49,000.