Tag Archives: Michigan

Former Funeral Director charged with Defrauding-YourFuneralGuy

17 Jan
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 20:  Funeral director Pete...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

A former Funeral Director in Michigan has been charged with defrauding Customers. In this case The director not only hurt the families that bought preneed or prepaid policies he also hurt the former business owner of the Funeral Home.

This serves as a warning to those who want to exit the funeral industry and the need to check out who and how they dispose of their business.

Mr. Prochnow had purchased the business portion of the Bennett Funeral Home on S. Dixie Hwy. just south of Albain Rd. in 2006 from Darrell Bennett, who retired with his wife to Florida after selling the business.
But Mr. Bennett, now 78 years old, said monthly payments were not paid and he discovered other payments for services were ignored. Over the past several years, he said he personally lost a total of about $325,000 to bad business. When he returned from Florida this summer to take over operations, the company was in shambles.
Mr. Bennett said the building was not properly cared for — there wasn’t hot water — and the vehicles, including the hearse and limousine, were being repossessed though he had paid them off 10 to 15 years ago.
“I can never imagine anything of this magnitude ever happening,” Mr. Bennett said. “It’s put me in the biggest hole I’ve ever been in my lifetime.”
In addition to accusations of stealing money from Mr. Bennett, Mr. Prochnow has been charged with accepting prepaid funeral payments and using the money for his own benefit.

via www.monroenews.com

This shows that just taking a bank note may not be the best strategy, may not be the best strategy in exiting the funeral business- in an age of Funeral industry decline, when profits are down and cremation is on the rise.

Funeral industry| Funeral News | funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy

This article presents one more reason as to why one should not purchase funeral preneed or aprepaid funeral.

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Citigroup Fined 1.5 Million In Funeral Preneed Trust Case|YourFuneralGuy

28 May

Citigroup was fined 1.5 million in a Funeral Preneed Trust Case. The branch of Citigroup Fined was Citigroup Global Markets. The case  involves  the jailed Clayton Smart, and the Citigroup Broker Mark Singer, Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis and Michigan.

This case involved preneed cemetery trusts.


Penalties of $1.5 million have been levied against Citigroup for supervisory violations related to its handling of millions of dollars in trust funds belonging to Forest Hill cemeteries in Memphis and Michigan.

The penalties — including a $750,000 fine and forfeiture of $750,000 in commissions — were imposed Wednesday by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority against Citigroup Global Markets Inc., whose broker is accused of theft and money laundering here.

The commissions will be returned to the cemetery trusts as partial restitution.

“Firms have a duty to protect customer funds by taking prompt and meaningful action when they encounter indications of possible fraud or misappropriation,” said FINRA official James S. Shorris in Washington. “That duty is particularly critical when firms handle trust funds where the beneficiaries may be unsophisticated investors who are unaware of how the funds are being handled.”

via www.commercialappeal.com

Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Michigan Funeral Protest Law Traps Mourners|YourFuneralGuyBlog

13 May

Michigan Funeral Law Traps Protesters

Michigan funeral protest law traps mourners. Political signs in van land couple in jail after friend’s service

Lewis Lowden is suing Clare County Michigan and two of its sheriff’s deputies for violating their civil rights under Michigan’s 2006 funeral protest law.

In 2007 Lewis and Jean Lowden were pulled out of a funeral procession honoring a 25-year-old Army corporal killed in Iraq whom they had known for 15 years, had homeschooled and had taken camping and fishing. The reason? Having a few handmade signs critical of the Bush administration in their van window violated the Michigan funeral protest law. A search of the van revealed a hatchet, machete and two knives Lowden said he used for camping. The couple was jailed for carrying concealed weapons.

Former Clare County Prosecutor Norman Gage believes there’s a problem with Michigan’s law, hastily enacted in reaction to incendiary protests at military funerals by the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church. “I feel bad that the Lowdens had to go through this,” Gage said. “But sometimes, unfortunately, the laws aren’t well written, and this may well be a good example of a well-intentioned law that wasn’t well written.”

The problem appears to be a free speech issue. “We’re not questioning the benevolent intent of the law to protect mourners from being disrupted at funerals,” said American Civil Liberties Union Michigan lawyer Daniel Korobkin, who filed suit on the Lowdens’ behalf. “But history shows us — and this case shows — that efforts to silence even the most outrageous, repugnant, offensive and hateful speech always backfires and always ends up punishing the speech of innocent people like the Lowdens.”

Source:via freep.com

posted by Karen Jones, author of DEATH FOR BEGINNERS Your No-Nonsense, Money-Saving Guide to Planning for the Inevitable   www.deathforbeginners.com

Funeral Industry|Funeral News| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

via freep.com

Some Facts On the “Plastic Casket” Company|YourFuneralGuy

28 Mar

Plastic Caskets come to help with funeral cost in June.

At a  City Council Meeting in Greenville Michigan last fall the city manager joked about Casket personalization, something the funeral industry takes quite seriously.

Clarion technologies plans to continue making furniture, auto parts and plastic Caskets.

Here are some facts on the Plastic Casket, Company Clarion Technologies, of Greenville,Michigan that will be making and selling plastic, marble and wood caskets in June.  These are multi-piece caskets.

Snippet From: Clarion Technologies seeks tax breaks for new product: plastic caskets


Clarion Technologies Inc.
501 S. Cedar St., Greenville

  • Plastic-injection molder, auto parts maker
  • New product: plastic caskets
  • Supplied Electrolux here until 2006
  • Employs 60
  • Expects to add 52 jobs
  • $570,000 investment in new equipment/building upgrade
  • 12-year tax abatement:
  • $22,647 city property tax

via www.mlive.com

Funeral Industry|Funeral News |Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy