Funeral Industry News

Funeral Home Operators Charged… Stealing From Preneed

October 15, 2009

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Funeral Home Operators Charged… Stealing From Preneed

LIVONIA, Mich. — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Wednesday charges against two funeral home operators.

Christopher and Nancy Ziomek, both 54 years old and from Canton Township, are accused of taking money for prepaid funerals at their Livonia funeral home on Wayne Road and putting it to personal use.

Each has been charged with two counts of embezzlement, three counts of embezzlement by an agent or trustee and one count of conversion.

The business has not had a pre-paid funeral registration with the state for 10 years.

Worthy said there were at least 60 victims, and that the two allegedly profited more than $230,000 from 1998 to 2007.

Sally Sexton said her parents paid for the prepaid funeral services 20 years ago.

Sexton said when her mother died, the service at the funeral home was a disaster.

“We were to have limos for the grieving family, but they said they didn’t have cars and they wanted more money for my mom,” she said. “They took my dad’s money and used it for my mother’s funeral. So, when my dad died last January, we had no money to bury my dad.”

Another victim, Theresa Harp, said she knew the couple well.

“We trusted them. I knew Nancy. Nancy went to our church,” Harp said.

If convicted, the Ziomeks are facing up to 25 years in prison.

The Livonia Police Department is asking anyone who believes they’ve been a victim of the funeral home to contact them at 734-466-2470.