NORRISTOWN - Michael Grover Cowan, a former West Reading, Pennsylvania man, is headed to state prison for stealing more than $100,000 from a Lower Pottsgrove dental business where he worked.
Michael Grover Cowan, 35, formerly of the 800 block of Summit Chase Drive, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to two to seven years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to charges of theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received in connection with incidents that occurred between May 2005 and July 2006 while he worked for American Dental Service of Pottstown.
Judge William J. Furber Jr., who accepted a plea agreement in the case, also ordered Cowan to pay $102,424 in restitution to the dental business, which is located in the 1800 block of East High Street.
"He's a con man. He's been conning people his whole life in order to steal from them," argued Assistant District Attorney Christopher Parisi, who sought a state prison sentence against Cowan. "When you're dealing with someone like that, the only way to put an end to that activity is to get a state sentence that sends a message that we aren't going to tolerate it."
Michael Grover Cowan also admitted that his arrest in the theft case represented a violation of the probation and parole he received in December 2003 after he pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by deception in connection with $1,500 that went missing from Today's Furniture and Bedding in Jenkintown where Cowan had once worked.
"The con has ended and Mr. Cowan is now a resident of the state prison," Parisi said.
Cowan, who most recently claimed he lived in New Kensington, which is near Pittsburgh, was represented by defense lawyer Gerald Ingram.
Michael Grover Cowan, who was formerly employed as a treatment plan coordinator at American Dental Service of Pottstown, was initially arrested in August 2006 by Lower Pottsgrove Police and charged with forgery and theft by deception. In that case, authorities alleged Cowan placed his name as the payee on a $4,000 check that was submitted to the company from a patient for dental services.
Cowan allegedly cashed the altered check and retained the $4,000 for himself.
As part of Cowan's duties while working at American Dental he was responsible for establishing payment plans and collecting payments for services rendered to patients, authorities alleged. In his position, Cowan verified insurance coverage, established credit for patients via loans and collected cash and checks.
The additional alleged thefts were uncovered after company officials conducted an internal audit of all accounts handled by Cowan.
The alleged thefts totaled $102,424, according to court papers. Authorities said Cowan spent the money and none of it was recovered.
Testimony and court documents revealed that Cowan still is awaiting court action on other theft-related charges in Westmoreland County.
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