As people age, many choose to prepay for the majority of funeral expenses, hoping to reduce the burden on loved ones when they die. Not only is the funeral paid for, but many decisions are made ahead of time through the funeral home. One Pennsylvania funeral director has been accused of theft and mishandling of prepaid funds in excess of $500,000.
When people prepay for funerals, Pennsylvania law requires funeral homes to place the funds in escrow accounts until the day that they are needed. Instead of placing the funds in escrow accounts, the funeral director is accused of taking the funds and adding them to his business and personal accounts. He was initially charged with many misdemeanors and felonies a few months ago, but was recently charged with more.
Once the director’s arrest and charges were made public, more people claimed to be a victim of the man’s theft. Another 31 individuals claimed to be victims, and an additional $244,377 in funds is believed to have been mishandled. With the latest charges added to the man’s original charges, he now faces 170 felonies and misdemeanors.
Criminal charges, such as theft, can change the course of an individual’s life, especially if convicted. In addition to legal issues, charges can also hamper an individual’s reputation and future employment and/or business. People who face similar charges find the advice and skilled experience of a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania to be essential to the outcome of their case. Attorneys can offer advice on the best approach to a difficult situation.
Source: pennlive.com, “More charges filed against Pa. funeral director accused of stealing $500K from clients“, Barbara Miller, May 2, 2018