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Retired federal agent named Distinguished West Virginian


Nov. 27, 2018

Retired federal agent named Distinguished West Virginian

Rowley has helped secure millions for W.Va. law enforcement


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Governor Jim Justice has named a career federal investigator a Distinguished West Virginian for helping West Virginia law enforcement agencies recover more than $18 million from crime-related activities over the past three decades.


Gov. Justice bestowed the honor upon Steve Rowley, a retired special agent with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation section who now assists the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia as a Litigation Financial Analyst.


As a federal agent, Rowley focused on criminal tax cases, money laundering and investigations involving crimes relating to the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act. As an LFA, he assists in all stages of financial cases to develop evidence to support the seizure and forfeiture of assets from defendants.


Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy, also a retired career U.S. Treasury Department agent, worked with and supervised Rowley. Sandy cited Rowley’s role in cases involving coal companies, health care providers, internet providers, pharmacists, drug dealers, and financial institutions. He estimates that Rowley has helped secure $16.07 million in cash forfeitures, five pieces of real estate valued over $2 million, and 28 vehicles for law enforcement.


“Mr. Rowley’s association with West Virginia law enforcement from 1987 to present has never missed a beat,” said Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy. “To date, Mr. Rowley’s leadership and investigative skills has resulted in countless individuals who committed serious crimes in West Virginia to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and to forfeit the profits they earned from defrauding and poisoning West Virginia citizens.”


Recipients of these recovered assets include the West Virginia State Police, for whom it has funded training and the purchase of vehicles, body armor and quantities of a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.


A 1976 graduate of West Virginia State College, Rowley retired from the IRS in December 2010 after 23 years of federal law enforcement. An LFA since early 2011, the Dunbar native more recently secured more than $1 million for the State Police from the First National Bank of Williamson in May for civil violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.


“Mr. Rowley is very deserving of the Distinguished West Virginian award as he has devoted his career to working with federal, state and local law enforcement officers to seize illegal proceeds and share forfeited funds with agencies like the West Virginia State Police,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “Mr. Rowley is a rock star when it comes to working complex financial cases and we are all fortunate to have him working with us in the Southern District of West Virginia.”


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LAWRENCE MESSINA (304) 558-2930 Lawrence.C.Messina@wv.gov