Local business owner enters guilty plea

Published 11:12 am Monday, March 28, 2016

RALEIGH – A Hertford County business owner pled guilty Thursday in Wake County Superior Court to tax charges filed by the North Carolina Department of Revenue, but avoided an active prison sentence.

Jeana Godwin Cowan, 44, of 447 Godwin Town Road, Ahoskie, entered a guilty plea on March 24 to two counts of Embezzlement of State Property.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway sentenced Cowan to a 16-month minimum, 29-month maximum prison term. The sentence was suspended and Cowan was placed on supervised probation for 36 months. Cowan paid $29,714.33 in restitution at the time of her plea. She was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine and perform 100 hours of community service.

Information presented in court showed that Cowan, owner of Godwin’s Country Meats located near Ahoskie, embezzled, misapplied and converted to her own use North Carolina and Hertford County Sales Tax from Oct. 1, 2012 through Jan. 20, 2014. Information presented also showed Cowan embezzled North Carolina Withholding Tax from Oct. 1, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2014. The total sales and withholding tax embezzled equaled $29,714.33.

Based on the State’s evidence, Cowan had a history of non-compliance with the Department of Revenue.

The charges against Cowan resulted from an investigation by a special agent with the Department’s Criminal Investigations Section in Raleigh.