Schuette Files Felony Embezzlement Charges Against Northern Michigan Funeral Home OwnerContact: Joy Yearout 517-373-8060
April 16, 2014
LANSING - Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Criminal Division has charged R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel, and its owner Richard Weishuhn, 68, of Standish with multiple felony embezzlement charges for allegedly embezzling money from his customers' prepaid funerals.
"These criminal charges mark a significant step on the road to securing justice for the elderly clients who trusted their funeral home to honor their pre-paid funeral contracts and fulfill its promises but instead, allegedly embezzled those funds," said Schuette
"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."
Schuette charged Weishuhn with one count of Embezzlement Over $100,000, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and one count of Embezzlement Over $50,000, a fifteen year felony, for allegedly failing to escrow funeral contract funds.
Weishuhn is the owner of R.O. Savage Funeral Chapel in Standish, Michigan. In November 2013, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) conducted a routine audit on Savage Funeral Chapel's records regarding their prepaid funeral contracts. The LARA audit allegedly revealed Weishuhn failed to submit the required annual financial reports on the prepaid funeral contracts solicited by his funeral home to the State and had failed to do so from 2006-2012. Additionally, LARA's audit found that 174 prepaid funeral contracts, valued at $601,438 were not held in escrow as required by law. The prepaid contracts were also allegedly co-mingled with the Savage Funeral Chapel business account, also a violation of state law.
LARA reported Weishuhn's alleged misconduct to the Michigan Department of Attorney General. A further Attorney General investigation into Weishuhn's bank statements revealed that in 2012, Weishuhn spent $112,333 in earmarked prepaid funeral funds for personal and business use and in 2011, Weishuhn spent $87,945 funds earmarked for prepaid funerals, also for personal and business use.
Weishuhn surrendered to authorities on April 16, 2014 in Michigan's 81st District Court in Standish.
Schuette charged Richard Weishuhn at Michigan's 81st District Court in Standish with the following charges:
One count of Embezzlement Over $100,000, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and;
One count of Embezzlement over $50,000, a fifteen-year felony.
Weishuhn was arraigned at 2:30 p.m. on April 16, 2014 at Michigan's 81st District Court in Standish and released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
Pronunciation of defendant's last name: Why-ZOON