Cops: Local interior designer stole $140k
A local interior designer has been charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing more than $140,000 from two clients, according to court documents.
Renee Bowden, 58, turned herself in last week in the Dallas area after a warrant was issued for her arrest last month, said Aspen police Detective Jeff Fain.
Police first received a report about Bowden in March 2014, when a man who hired her to be a real estate broker and interior designer for two condos he owned at the Der Berghof complex talked to an officer, according to a police report filed in District Court.
The man said he’d created a “unique contract” with Bowden in which he’d receive a discounted price on furnishings and building supplies in exchange for listing the units with her, the report states. Bowden allegedly told the man all purchases must go through her checking account because he was not a “registered trade client,” according to the report.
However, Bowden allegedly charged the man retail prices for the project and only paid vendors and contractors some of the money they were owed. Some vendors filed liens on the man’s property after not receiving payment and the man was forced to pay off the liens, “essentially paying twice for product,” according to Fain’s report.
Another woman, who is suing Bowden, told police a similar story.
That woman bought a condo at The Gant in the summer of 2013 and hired Bowden to remodel and renovate the unit, the report states. Again, however, bills to vendors were only partially paid, and vendors threatened the woman with liens if she didn’t pay them off, according to the report.
“Thus, (the woman) had to pay twice for some of the work,” Fain wrote in his report.
The man and the woman paid Bowden a total of $314,926 for renovations and furnishings for the three units, the report states. Of that, $141,377 is unaccounted for, according to the report.
In addition, the two people paid an extra $54,635 to remove liens or be able to receive product that had been ordered and, they thought, already paid for, the report states.
Fain also was able to receive discovery from the woman’s lawsuit, which indicated that activity within Bowden’s business account “appeared to be mostly personal in nature and was spent on various airline flights, restaurants, liquor stores and spas,” the report states.
Bowden posted bond in Dallas and is scheduled to appear in Pitkin County District Court on July 18.
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