Former office manager sentenced to 27 months for embezzling from two Mobile medical practices

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A former medical office manager has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for embezzling from two medical practices in Mobile County.

Betty Fables Harrison, 65, was sentenced on Oct. 12 and was ordered to pay $549,000 in restitution.

In April 2021, Harrison pleaded guilty to wire fraud. As part of her plea agreement with the United States, Harrison admitted 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 her job capacity, Harrison handled payroll and had access to multiple business bank accounts.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama said that starting in 2006, Harrison began using business funds for unauthorized personal expenditures, such as horse saddles, equine vet bills, musical instruments, furniture, and vacations.

The attorney’s office says the unauthorized purchases continued for 11 years until Harrison’s termination in October. Also during this time, Harrison fraudulently paid herself bonuses and consulting fees as well as increased her salary without authorization, which resulted in a substantial financial loss to both medical practices.

During the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Beaverstock noted Harrison’s crimes went on for years and were a serious breach of trust. Because of this, the judge agreed with the United States’ sentencing recommendation and sentenced Harrison to 27 months in federal prison. Harrison was also ordered to pay $549,000 in restitution to Dr. George Sutton, the owner of both medical practices.

The 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.

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