Industry News

Former Pennsylvania Funeral Director Facing 463 Charges

CARLISLE, PA. - The Cumberland County District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday that it has deceptive business charges against Boyd Lee Myers Jr., 51, of Mechanicsburg, the former owner of Myers Funeral Home.

Myers was charged with 102 counts of Deceptive Business Practices, 33 counts of Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition, 30 counts of Insurance Fraud, 95 counts of Theft by Deception, 102 counts of Misapplication of Entrusted Property and 101 counts of Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities, according to a press release issued by District Attorney David J. Freed.

The charges stem from an investigation regarding the misappropriation of preneed funeral funds when the defendant was the funeral home director of Myers Funeral Home, Inc. at 37 East Main St., Mechanicsburg, the release said. To avoid confusion, the defendant no longer has anything to do with the funeral home profession and no affiliation with the Myers-Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory, Ltd. which is located at the same address.

The charges were a result of months of investigation consisting of reviewing volumes of documents and interviewing scores of witnesses. Throughout the investigation the current funeral home has been assisting authorities in the investigation and affected client families, Freed said.

“I am pleased that this complex investigation has reached the charging stage,” Freed said in the release. “A representative of our office met recently with a large number of the case victims to lay out the next steps. We are mindful that these allegations involve serious issues in the victims lives and will continue to do all we can to minimize their impact.”

In response to the charges, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association issued its own press release:

“Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association (PFDA) fully supports the criminal charges that have been brought by Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed and Jaime Keating, First Assistant District Attorney, against former Funeral Supervisor Boyd Myers, Jr., for the theft of preneed funds.

“PDFA believes that the consumer protection provisions of the Funeral Director Law which require that funeral directors deposit funds received for prearranged funerals in trust until the services are performed should be vigorously enforced. Funeral Directors who violate the public trust should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. When funeral directors breach the public trust, it casts a negative shadow on all funeral directors around the state. The majority of funeral directors are honest individuals running small businesses, who provide much needed services to their communities.”

In the release, the PFDA said it has encouraged the state regulatory body to provide greater oversight in monitoring preneed funds held by funeral homes, and pointed out that a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania has made funeral homes inspections in the state more difficult.

“In PFDA’s opinion, with Judge Jones’ declaration that unannounced inspections are unconstitutional, there is a greater potential for misuse of preneed funds. The state inspectors should go into funeral homes to review preneed burial contracts and verify whether the preneed funds are being properly trusted,'' the release stated. “In addition, the ruling also effectively reduced the trusting requirements for funeral directors from 100 percent of the funds prepaid for the total cost of a funeral to something less than that for all funerals. Previously, state court decisions held funeral directors to a higher trusting standard.”

Myers was arraigned and waived his preliminary hearing. Bail was set at $200,000.00 unsecured, and Myers was required to surrender his passport.

Posted Sept. 26


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