Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legal Secretary Stole More Than $80,000 from Her St. Charles Law Firm, Court Records Say

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legal Secretary Stole More Than $80,000 from Her St. Charles Law Firm, Court Records Say

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES - A legal secretary faces criminal charges of embezzling $6,000 from the St. Charles law firm that employed her, and is accused in a related civil lawsuit of writing bogus checks to herself exceeding $81,000.

Lou Ann Sowell, 52, of the first block of Hidden Mill Court in Moscow Mills, has been charged in St. Charles County Circuit Court with five counts of felony forgery and one count of stealing.

Charges say Sowell, who worked as lawyer Todd Ryan's legal secretary and office manager for more than a decade, issued herself six $1,500 bonuses from the firm using business accounting software, and recoded those transactions in the software to avoid paying taxes on the bonuses.

Scott Simpson, lawyer for Sowell, said she plans to plead not guilty at her arraignment Monday. …

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