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Justice News

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

Friday, April 12, 2019

Woman who Embezzled over $720,000 Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns, Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud


Ann E. Darling-Batson, 58, of Herrin, Illinois, has pleaded guilty to filing a false federal income tax return and fraudulently acquiring a controlled substance. Darling-Batson had been an office manager at New Horizons OBGYN, an obstetrics and gynecological practice group in Carbondale, Illinois. As part of the plea, she admitted embezzling in excess of $720,000 from her employer from 2012 through 2016 – income she acknowledged was not reported on her federal income tax returns for those years. She also confessed that in September 2016, she obtained acetaminophen/codeine #3, a Schedule III controlled substance, from a Walgreens pharmacy without a legitimate, authorized prescription.

Prior to the plea, the defendant made complete restitution to her employer.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 9, 2019. Batson-Darling, who is currently released on bond, faces a total of up to seven years imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

This guilty plea is the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norm Smith.

Financial Fraud
Updated April 12, 2019