DAVIS A. COOPER, age 49, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, in Warren County, pled guilty to embezzling over $2.5 million from the City of Bowling Green between 2000 and March 2005, and laundering those funds through various bank accounts he established.

Cooper also admitted that bank records obtained during the investigation established a loss of $4.25 million going back to 1996.

The maximum potential penalties are 90 years imprisonment, a $1,250,000 fine, and five years supervised release.

Cooper was Bowling Green's City Treasurer from 1980 through December 2001, and in January 2002 he became Bowling Green's Chief Financial Officer, where he remained until March 2005.

As the City's Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, Cooper oversaw the collection of monies due and owing to the City, including occupational taxes, real and personal property taxes, and insurance premium taxes.

These monies were earmarked to pay the City's expenses, including the Bowling Green Fire Department's expenses. Instead, over the course of his 25 year employment, Cooper systematically embezzled monies due to the City. Cooper stole checks payable to the City of Bowling Green and deposited those checks into a US Bank personal account he controlled in the name of "Housing Authority-City of Bowling Green, Treasurer's Collection Account" ("Treasurer's Collection Account"), c/o Dave Cooper.

To give US Bank the impression that he was acting on behalf of the City, Cooper endorsed the City's checks with a fake stamp stating "FOR DEPOSIT ONLY, CITY TREASURER, BOWLING GREEN, KY."

The City had no knowledge of the Treasurer's Collection Account, and Cooper knew that he was not authorized to deposit the City of Bowling Green's funds into his own personal account.

After Cooper deposited the City's funds into his personal Treasurer's Collection Account, he further laundered the funds by depositing them in another personal US Bank account he controlled in the name of "C.M. Associates."

Cooper used the funds in the C.M. Associates account to support his life style and for personal expenses, including: payments to various banks, credit cards, retailers, insurance companies, payments for numerous houses, cars, jewelry, antiques, vacations, and alimony payments.

As part of his guilty plea, Cooper admitted that he established and utilized the Treasurer's Collection Account and the C.M. Associates account for the sole purpose of laundering the funds he embezzled from the City.

Cooper admitted that from January 1, 2000 to March 19, 2005, he embezzled $2,509,236.17 from the City of Bowling Green. Going back to 1996, Cooper embezzled over $4.25 million.

The case was prosecuted by Marisa J. Ford, Criminal Division Chief, and Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser, and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bowling Green Police Department.

The plea was entered before Thomas B. Russell, Judge, United States District Court, Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Cooper is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Russell on December 6, 2005, in Bowling Green, Kentucky.