Funeral Industry News

Ex-Cemetery Owner Repays $4.2M Stolen From Trusts

June 28, 2010

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Ex-Cemetery Owner Repays $4.2M Stolen From Trusts

imageThe Michigan Attorney General’s office says an ex-cemetery owner has repaid $4.2 million in trust funds embezzled from a Grand Rapids cemetery.

The Attorney General’s office said Thursday in a release that Robert Nelms is expected to be sentenced now that the restitution is paid.

Nelms pleaded guilty in September to embezzling the money from Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. The cemetery was operated by his Indianapolis-based company.

Nelms owned cemeteries in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio. He faced similar charges in Indiana and agreed to sell 11 cemeteries to replenish trusts set aside for prepaid funerals and burials.

He has pleaded guilty in Indiana to theft and securities fraud.

The Associated Press left a message Friday seeking comment from Nelms’ attorney, James Thomas.