Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Funeral Home Mischief In Circleville Ohio.

I thought I would post this little tidbit of news I found since some of my family lives in Circleville, and usually I go there once a year (although not this year) for the annual Pumpkin Show, which is what Circleville is actually noted for (as well as the birthplace of vaudeville legend Ted Lewis). As you will read, a funeral director was caught swindling insurance companies and people out of millions. Makes me glad that my Mother had her funeral at Defenbaugh-Wise Funeral Home in Circleville.

A former funeral director who stole nearly $1 million from customers and an insurance company was sentenced to 10 years in prison today.

Brent Peters, 43, of Circleville, showed little reaction as he was sentenced.

He pleaded guilty in May to aggravated theft from an elderly person, a first-degree felony, and aggravated theft, a third-degree felony.

Prosecutors say that Peters, who owned the Mader-Peters Funeral Home in Circleville, stole nearly $1 million from at least 150 customers and an insurance company during a 10-year period.

He did so by filing false death certificates and collecting money for funerals that never took place. Several agencies started investigating in January after a tip from a former funeral-home employee.

Peters has lost his funeral director's license, and the funeral home is now closed.

More than 50 of his victims showed up in court today.

Six victims spoke to the court. Some said Peters should serve prison time, but others said he should be sentenced to probation so he could work and pay the victims back.

Ada Burke, 85, from Circleville says her family has been using the funeral home for three generations. She wrote a check to the funeral to prepay for her arrangements for $8,753 that she has not gotten back.

She said Peters showed “cruel disregard” for the victims.

Source: Columbus Dispatch

1 comment:

Sandy said...

You know when I heard this on the news I was really sadden. My maiden name...Mader. It was my ancestors who orginally owed and operated the funeral home for many generations. Sadly, I didn't know they were related to me while any of them were still alive. My folks always said they weren't. However, after doing my genealogy...I found they were. This tarnishes what was a very very long standing well respected business. My Mader's hail from Germany and immigrated to this country back in the 1800's...some as early as 1840 ish. They all started out in Chillicothe, then one brother moved to Greenfield, one to Circleville, and one to Deklab Indiana, and one stayed in Chillicothe.

Interesting post.

Please stop by for a visit, the welcome mats always out. Been years since I've gone to the Pumpkin Show.



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