BLOWING ROCK — A former Swiss Mountain Village administrator was arrested on Nov. 27 and charged with seven counts of felony embezzlement after reportedly misappropriating money from the company during the course of two and a half years.
Steven Paul Downs, 52, of 297 Suburban Road, Lynchburg, Va., allegedly embezzled and fraudulently did “misapply and convert (money) to the defendant’s own use,” according to the warrant for arrest. The money amounts listed in the warrant documents total up to $61,788.19 reportedly embezzled from January 2017 to July 2019.
Watauga County Sheriff’s Office Detective Matt Rollins said that there is a potential for additional charges to be filed in the case and it is possible that more money was taken.
Swiss Mountain Village is a resort and timeshare business located in Blowing Rock. The business declined to comment on Downs’ arrest.
According to the warrant, Downs allegedly did “take and make away with” $21,547.77 in 2017, which belonged to a Swiss Mountain Village operating account. He allegedly misapplied $24,135.82 from the same account in 2018, and $4,243.70 in 2019. This is where three of the seven embezzlement charges stem from.
The next three embezzlement charges are due to Downs allegedly using two business bank cards for personal uses. According to the arrest warrants, Downs took $3,289.72 from one bank card and $66.91 from another in 2018. He also reportedly took $1,760.37 from one of the bank cards in 2019. The last charge is a result of Downs allegedly taking $6,743.88 for personal use from one of the aforementioned bank cards in 2019.
Downs was issued a $25,000 secured bond, and was released on bond the same day he was arrested. He was given a Jan. 3 court date and was ordered to not have contact with Swiss Mountain Village.