Arenac County funeral home owner charged with embezzling - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Arenac County funeral home owner charged with embezzling money

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ARENAC COUNTY (WJRT) -

(04/17/14) - A former funeral home director is facing two felonies after being accused of using customers' prepaid funeral funds for personal expenses.

Business was suspended in January at the R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel in Standish, following a state investigation. The attorney general has now issued criminal charges.

Sixty-eight year old Richard Weishuhn has been arraigned in Arenac County.

Now, some of his former clients are having to spend more on a service they already thought they paid for.

The doors are closed at the R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel right in the middle of Standish. Former owner Richard Weishuhn faces one count of embezzlement of more than $100,000, and another count of embezzlement over $50,000.

An investigation by the state attorney generals' office reveals Weishuhn took more than $200,000 earmarked for prepaid funerals for his personal and business expenses.

In a statement, Attorney General Bill Schuette says, "We will do everything we can to ensure the victims' last wishes are honored and their families receive the peace of mind in knowing their loved ones are taken care of."

Other funeral homes are offering help to people who lost money.

"It could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000," said Anna Buresh, of Buresh Funeral Homes.

Buresh says they've already been able to help five families.

"We offered to help them at a discounted rate so that they didn't have to pay full price and not pay twice, because the families didn't do anything wrong," she said.

She says prepaying for funeral expenses can give families peace of mind, but buyers have to be careful on how they pay for the future services.

"What you have to be so very careful to do is never make the check out to the funeral home, it should always made out to a third party, like an insurance company," she said.

In that case, a funeral home does not collect that payment until the services are rendered. Weishuhn is free on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

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