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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Former Medical Office Manager Sentenced to 27 Months for Embezzling Money From Practice

Sean P. Costello, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, announces that Chief Judge Jeffery Beaverstock has sentenced defendant Betty Fables Harrison to 27 months in prison and ordered her to pay $549,000.00 in restitution.

In April 2021, Harrison pleaded guilty to an Information charging her with wire fraud. As part of her plea agreement with the United States, Harrison admitted that she worked as a business manager and administrator for two related medical practices in Mobile County — Bay Area Community Medicine and Independent Practice Management — from 2005 through October 2017. In this capacity, Harrison handled payroll and had access to multiple business bank accounts.

Starting in 2006, Harrison began using business funds for unauthorized personal expenditures, such as horse saddles, equine vet bills, musical instruments, furniture, and vacations. These unauthorized purchases continued for eleven years until Harrison’s termination in October 2017. Also during this time, Harrison fraudulently paid herself bonuses and consulting fees as well as increased her salary without authorization. This resulted in a substantial financial loss to both medical practices.

During the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Beaverstock noted that Harrison’s crimes went on for years and were a serious breach of trust. Accordingly, Chief Judge Beaverstock agreed with the United States’ sentencing recommendation and sentenced Harrison to 27 months in federal prison. Harrison was also ordered to pay $549,000.00 in restitution to Dr. George Sutton, the owner of both medical practices.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bodnar. A related state criminal case against Harrison is pending in Mobile County Circuit Court.

Updated October 13, 2021