LOS ANGELES – On January 13, 2017, Long Beach accountant Gary Batchelor, 64, was sentenced to three years in state prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from several county foster homes that assisted boys 13 to 18 years old.
Batchelor pleaded guilty (September 20, 2016) to two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds and one felony count of filing a false tax return in two separate cases. The group homes, located in Compton, Los Angeles, Altadena and Pomona, were operated by You Are the Difference Foundation and Moore’s Cottage. Batchelor was a board member and chief financial officer at Moore’s Cottage.
In addition to prison time, Batchelor will be ordered to pay $356,435 in restitution, including $40,329 to the state Franchise Tax Board and $193,865 to You Are the Difference Foundation.
Co-defendant Steven Smith, 56, the former executive director at Moore’s Cottage was earlier sentence dto 30 days in county jail and placed on formal probation for five years after pleading guilty to one felony count each of embezzlement and failure to file a tax return. He also was 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 and Smith embezzled money from Moore’s Cottage between June 2011 and October 2013.
The cases were investigated by the Long Beach Police Department, the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller and the California Franchise Tax Board.
“It’s inconceivable to me that anyone would work against at-risk children and young adults when they already have such an unfortunate, big hill to climb,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “State investigators team with local agencies, pool their resources, and get the job done, from investigation to prosecution.”