Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A man who ran a tax accounting service in Long Beach was sentenced Friday to three years in prison for misappropriating public funds from two organizations that operate group homes for disadvantaged youths.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli also ordered Gary Batchelor, 64, to pay more than $356,000 in restitution.

The largest sum — nearly $194,000 — will go to the You Are the Difference Foundation, which runs two group homes for teenage boys in Los Angeles and Compton, with more than $122,000 set to go to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and around $40,000 to the state’s Franchise Tax Board, according to Deputy District Attorney Dana Aratani.

Batchelor pleaded guilty Sept. 20 to two felony counts of misappropriating public funds and one felony count of filing a false tax return.

Steven Smith — who was the executive director of Moore’s Cottage and was charged along with Batchelor in one of the cases — pleaded guilty last September to one felony count each of embezzlement and failure to file an income tax return.

Smith, 56, was immediately sentenced that day to 30 days in county jail, five years formal probation and ordered to pay nearly $24,000 in restitution to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and more than $6,200 to the Franchise Tax Board.

Moore’s Cottage operated two group homes for disadvantaged youths in Altadena and Pomona. Batchelor served as a board member for that organization.

—City News Service

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