CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Convicted Cross Lanes computer executive Martin Bowling faces 25 to 31 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.
But Bowling's lawyer has asked a federal judge to keep Bowling out of jail -- and not force him to pay a fine or restitution.
Bowling and three others convicted in a state employment training grant scandal are scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. today at the federal courthouse in Charleston.
In December, Bowling, former Comar Inc. CEO Al Hendershot, West Virginia State University extension agent Christine Gardner, and Workforce West Virginia grant manager Mary Jane Bowling, who is Bowling's mother, pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court.
The four admitted they took part in a scheme to embezzle grant money, then cover up the theft.
In a recent sentencing memo, federal public defender Mark French told U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver that Bowling has cooperated with the government, providing "substantial assistance" to investigators and saving federal prosecutors the time and expense of seeking an indictment.
Bowling testified for more than two hours before a grand jury investigating the grant allegations.
"Mr. Bowling provided testimony to the government that enabled the government to expand its investigation into fraud with respect to Workforce West Virginia," wrote French, of Criswell & French.
French also argued that Bowling was being punished for the same crime twice -- as Bowling pleaded guilty in Kanawha Circuit Court in 2008 and spent a month at South-Central Regional Jail last March on a computer fraud charge.
In December, Bowling pleaded guilty to misappropriating government funds and aggravated identity theft. The second charge mirrors Bowling's 2008 conviction, French said.
Bowling is paying restitution on that case, and his ability to pay additional fines or restitution is "limited," according to French.
"Mr. Bowling has been, and has the future to be a strong, contributing member of society," French wrote.
French also submitted 26 letters from Bowling's friends, family and former co-workers, who asked the judge to keep Bowling out of jail.
They said Bowling regrets his actions and wants to make amends.