A Long Beach, Calif.-based tax preparer has pleaded guilty to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from group homes for teenage boys. In two separate cases, Gary Batchelor, 64, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and one felony count of filing a false tax return in his role, stemming from his role as an executive with the nonprofit group.

 A co-defendant Steven Smith, 56, former executive director of one home, Moore's Cottage, pleaded guilty to one felony count each of embezzlement and failure to file a tax return. He was sentenced to 30 days in county jail and placed on probation for five years. Smith ordered to pay $30,171 in restitution, including $23,942 to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and $6,229 to the state Franchise Tax Board.

Batchelor, who operated the Taxaccon tax preparation service, is expected to draw a three-year term when sentenced in January and to be ordered to pay $356,435 in restitution, including $40,329 to the state board and $193,865 to You Are the Difference Foundation, another of the group homes.

The organizations operate homes for boys ages 13 to 18 in the California cities of Compton, Los Angeles, Altadena and Pomona
Batchelor and Smith were charged with embezzling money from Moore's Cottage between June 2011 and October 2013. At Moore's Cottage, Batchelor was a board member and CFO and Smith was executive director.

Last modified on Monday, 03 October 2016
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