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.