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Friday, April 16, 2010

New Charges In Funeral Home Director Fraud Case

Most families are at their most vulnerable when planning for funerals. The last thing they need at such a time is to be victimized by fraud or theft. Yet one Indiana funeral home director, already accused of stealing money from clients, now faces new charges totaling some $80,000.

In January, funeral home director Richard Pyke was charged with insurance fraud. He reportedly sold pre-burial insurance policies to clients and cashed them in while those clients were still alive. He also reportedly took money for prepaid funeral contracts and never put it in trust.

"The law requires him to either buy the insurance of contracts like he promised to do or put the money in a trust account," said chief deputy prosecuting attorney Jeremy Mull. "We know he hasn't done that with any of the money."

On April 14, prosecutors filed 15 new charges against Pyke, including theft of money given him to pay for burial expenses. "The loved ones were buried and Mr. Pyke did not then pay the cemeteries for those burial lots like he was obligated to do," said Mull.

One woman whose pre-burial insurance policy was cashed in had to sign an affidavit that she was still alive to reinstate it. "I guess maybe I thought somebody was just playing a hoax on me," said Lynne Devers.

Unfortunately, examples of business and consumer fraud are common these days. From Wall Street to Main Street, swindlers and con artists are virtually household names. Many such cases may involve embezzlement.

Our attorneys at The Cochran Firm stand ready to defend your interests. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any of our nationwide offices.

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posted by Lynn at 7:57 AM

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