The owner of a New York funeral home is facing a plethora of charges stemming from the mishandling of money. The business is located in Genesee County, and owned by a 48-year-old Batavia man. The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation back in February 2020 after receiving a complaint from a customer who had prepaid for funeral expenses.
When a person chooses to pay for funeral expenses ahead of time, the funds are required to be placed into a trust account opened in that customer’s name within ten days of receipt of the payment. In this case, the investigation revealed that none of the funds received from approximately 93 customers were placed into trust accounts. On at least two counts, money was received for the purchase of headstones and gravesites, but they were never ordered. The combined total of losses amounted to $525,000.
The funeral home owner now faces multiple charges including larceny, falsifying business records, grand larceny, scheme to defraud, offering a false instrument for filing, and petit larceny. Altogether, 101 charges have been alleged, with more expected to surface.
In New York, larceny carries a steep sentence. For a case of this magnitude, a Defendant could face up to 25 years in prison along with fines of double the amount taken. It is a very serious charge, and no one should attempt to face it without expert guidance. A criminal law attorney can negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf to secure a plea agreement that will ensure your best outcome.