DENVER - A convicted felon out on bond on charges of stealing from the elderly attempted to get as much as $10,000 from a Greenwood Village businessman, promising to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the businessman's Internet start-up.
George William Bowen was caught on CALL7 Investigators' hidden cameras pitching himself as an expert in raising investments for small businesses.
If you need help with that, I'll walk you through it, Bowen, using the name Bill Williams, told the businessman. I've done thousands of them.
Bowen told businessman Kim Bishop that he would work hard to raise as much as $600,000 for Bishops social networking start-up. But Bowen wanted a $5,000 retainer -- a discount from an initial $10,000 -- and 4 percent of any money raised.
Bowen told Bishop on hidden camera that he has only once failed to raise the money for a start up but did not provide any references of previous satisfied customers.
The contract he provided does not require Bowen to take any action to raise the money, and he conceded in the meeting he would still be able to keep retainer if he did not raise the funds.
My specialties are small and midsize companies, Bowen said. For some reason, that's where I do my best work.
Bowen is facing 16 counts of theft for bilking El Paso County homeowners of insurance money for roof repairs that were never completed, prosecutors said.
He was just the sweetest man, said Monica, who asked her last name not be used.
She said he never completed work on her roof and just took the money.
Southern accent like you wouldnt believe. Just dripping with honey, I tell ya," Monica said.
Pretty smooth? CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia asked.
Oh, definitely smooth, she said. Anything I asked him he knew right away."
In the end, he walked off the job, she said. We ended up having to finish it."
Monica's case is not part of the ones prosecutors selected for the El Paso County case.
Court records show Bowen has a history of fraud. He spent time in federal prison for mail fraud for businesses in Virginia and South Carolina, and was released in 2007.
Bishop became suspicious because one of the companies on Bowens contract was registered to a G.W. Bowen instead of a Bill Williams. While Googling Bowen, Bishop found the charges in El Paso county.
So CALL7 Investigators joined Bishop for his next meeting with Bowen.
During the meeting, Bowen said he was upset that Bishop didnt bring his retainer but agreed to meet later that day to get the money. But when Bowen left the meeting, he was approached by Ferrugia who asked why he was misleading business people about his history.
How come you are telling these folks your name is Williams? Ferrugia asked. You trying to scam them out of their money?
No, we have a company, Bowen said, heading to his Range Rover.
Bowen would not answer why he did not tell Bishop and his partners about his criminal history, but he did confirm that a mug shot Ferrugia showed Bowen was Bowen's mug shot.
Monica said Bowen should be sentenced to prison for life.
If he is out walking on the street as a free man he is going to be doing some kind of scam, Monica said. He has to because that is the kind of person he is.
Bishop was concerned that people trying to start businesses could be hurt if they dealt with Bowen.
I know there are people out there who would max out their credit cards, that would go get a payday loan, that would dip into the kids' college funds -- whatever they had to do to get that $10,000 -- and you hand it to a guy like this and he's going to walk. You're never going to see any benefit for it and in a lot of cases that $10,000 will sink a small business, Bishop said.
After CALL7's hidden-camera interview, an El Paso county judge revoked Bowen's bail and issued an arrest warrant for Bowen.