Funeral Industry News

Indiana Man Admits Stealing Mich. Cemetery Funds

September 25, 2009

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Indiana Man Admits Stealing Mich. Cemetery Funds

LANSING, Mich. – A man admits embezzling about $4.2 million in perpetual-care trust funds from a Michigan cemetery operated by his Indianapolis-based company.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced Thursday that Robert Nelms of Greenwood, Ind., pleaded guilty in Kent County Circuit Court to embezzlement and failing to trust funeral contracts. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Nelms is accused of stealing about $24 million from the trusts of funeral homes and cemeteries he controlled in Michigan and Indiana.

About $4.2 million was taken from Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Grand Rapids. Nelms faces charges in Indiana for the rest.

A phone message seeking comment was left Thursday for defense lawyer James C. Thomas.

Source: Chicago Tribune