Two executives with Moore’s Cottage, a Los Angeles County juvenile group have been charged in Los Angeles Superior Court with misuse of public funds, embezzlement and filing false tax returns. Financial officer Gary O’Neil Batchelor and Executive Director Steven Bryan were charged in April with embezzling more than $100,000 from a charity known as Moore’s Cottage, and damaging or destroying property in excess of $65,000. The pair is also accused of filing false personal tax returns between 2011 and 2013. The executives also failed to file tax forms for Moore’s Cottage during that time, and Moore’s Cottage now owes nearly $500,000 in payroll taxes.
Embezzlement, abuse suggested by earlier county audits
The county conducted an audit of the facility in 2013 and discovered that the group home operator had not filed tax forms or paid payroll taxes for several years. A previous audit of the facility showed that the organization had not filed an income tax return in 2006. The audits also revealed questionable accounting practices, which led to the revocation of the facility’s tax-exempt status in 2013.
In addition to accounting irregularities and apparent misappropriation of the organization’s payroll taxes for personal gain, county visits to the home showed that children were not benefiting from their weekly monetary allowances and their clothing allowances, both provided by the Department of Children and Family Services. The DCFS also noted signs of general neglect and physical abuse among the home’s juvenile residents.
If you’ve been arrested for fraud, embezzlement, grand theft or other work related crimes, you could face years in prison, and be forced to make expensive restitution. You need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has provided expert felony embezzlement defense in Los Angeles for more than 30 years, and takes criminal defense cases exclusively. He will work aggressively to get the charges against you dropped or reduced. Executives have special financial responsibilities to their organizations and their employees. Bookkeeping and accounting errors can give the appearance of embezzlement or fraud. Mr. Helfend can assemble the financial experts you’ll need to testify on your behalf.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and freedoms. Contact Robert Helfend today or call him toll-free at (800) 834-6434 or locally at (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles embezzlement defense case.
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