A judge ruled there was enough evidence in the embezzlement case against the former owner of Timeless Treasures consignment shop to take the case to court.
Andrea Bowen-Gardner, who owned the former San Luis Obispo store, will appear in court Nov. 2 to be arraigned a second time in the case. She initially pleaded not guilty to all charges in February, but she can change her plea at the next hearing.
If Bowen-Gardner pleads guilty, the case will be resolved. If she pleads not guilty, the case will go to trial.
At least 58 people have accused the Arroyo Grande resident of selling items they entrusted to her without paying for them, The Tribune previously reported.
A former customer told The Tribune that the total value of the items was around $50,000.
Kevin Rock, who alleges Bowen-Gardner stole more than $10,000 from him, said he’s ready to move the case forward.
“I’m frustrated,” Rock said. “I’ve been looking for my own money for a long time that she made me lose.”
The district attorney’s office suspects Bowen-Gardner sold the items between December 2018 and June 2019 and said they included furniture, artwork and even an antique radio, according to court documents. She potentially sold some of the items at an auction in May 2019, according to the documents.
Bowen-Gardner allegedly gave plaintiffs bounced checks or neglected to pay them in full, they told The Tribune.
Bowen-Gardner’s attorney, Patrick Fisher, previously told The Tribune that the store owner “vehemently denies” the allegations and accused the district attorney’s office of engaging in “political prosecutions”, which which the bureau denies.
Bowen-Gardner ran the Broad Street consignment store for around three years before being evicted in May 2019 for failing to pay rent.
Bowen-Gardner also faces other money-related costs.
The first is a misdemeanor charge in April 2019 for writing bad checks, and the other two are felony charges filed in July 2019 related to his business practices at Timeless Treasures, The Tribune previously reported.
This story was originally published October 6, 2022 4:21 p.m.