ARENAC COUNTY (WJRT) -
(07/09/14) - The former owner of an Arenac County funeral home was sent to jail on Wednesday as he was sentenced in an embezzlement case.
Richard Weishuhn admitted he used pre-paid funeral money of clients for his personal and business use.
While he may have used the money illegally, his attorney says none of the clients will lose any money.
In most embezzlement cases, the victims rarely get all their money back or the services they had paid for. All the victims in this case should get full restitution, and if they don't, Weishuhn will spend more time in jail.
"We have trusted you for years," said Kathy Taylor, Arenac County Public Guardian.
Those words were directed at 68-year-old Richard Weishuhn, the former owner of the R.O. Savage Funeral Home in Standish. A state audit showed Weishuhn used more than $600,000 of prepaid funeral funds for his business and personal use for 11 years.
Taylor represents some of Weishuhn's former clients.
"The people that you have hurt don't have the money to buy those contracts back if we can't get that money back," she said.
Weishuhn's attorney, Michael Manley says, all of Weishuhn's former clients will either get their money back or have their funeral service contracts honored by Lee-Ramsey Funeral Home in Pinconning, which has purchased the Standish funeral home.
"Nobody is out any money, nobody is out of funeral service, everything has been covered, everything will be covered," Manley said.
Victims of Weishuhn's were still angry, asking Circuit Court Judge Ronald Bergeron to send him to prison.
Bergeron sentenced Weishuhn to 12 months in jail, which will be reviewed after eight months. If all of Weishuhn's former clients have funeral services covered or get their money back by then, Weishuhn will be released from jail.
"I thought it was a perfect sentence and I thought it was a sentence that the judge made sure the victims would be made whole," Manley said.
Weishuhn's former customers will now have to wait to see if the money they have spent will not be lost.
Once Weishuhn is out of jail, he will serve up to five years probation.