Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Mortuary illegally continues to operate without state licensure
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
January 31, 2017 - Johnson Funeral Home, P.C., and its manager Denis R. Johnson, located in Manistee, Michigan, have been issued a Second Notice and Order to Cease and Desist based on an investigation showing funeral services have continued without mortuary science licenses. In November 2016, the State summarily suspended the funeral home’s mortuary science establishment license, its prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration, and Johnson’s individual mortuary science license. Formal complaints and a Notice and Order to Cease and Desist were also issued at that time. The orders and other pleadings were issued by Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ (LARA) Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) and its Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing bureau. Investigators subsequently discovered that the funeral home continued to provide funeral services after its mortuary science licenses were suspended, and BPL issued a second cease and desist order.
These actions resulted from an investigation conducted by the CSCL Securities & Audit Division that found multiple violations of the Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act (the “Prepaid Act”), MCL 328.211 et seq., and the Occupational Code (the “Occupational Code”), MCL 339.101 et seq., including:
Engaging in the practice of mortuary science after their licenses were suspended.
Failing to escrow at least $223,118.33 for prepaid funeral goods or services related to
75 prepaid funeral contracts.
Failing to deposit monies with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt.
Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty in the practice of mortuary science.
Incompetence in the practice of mortuary science.
CSCL issued a Second Notice and Order to Cease and Desist against Denis R. Johnson and the funeral home requiring him to cease and desist all mortuary science activities with notification of the right to request a hearing. Additionally, CSCL has made a criminal referral to the Department of Attorney General. If a person fails to comply with the order, the Department of Attorney General may apply in circuit court to enforce this order.
Engaging in or attempting to engage in the practice of an occupation regulated under the Occupational Code without a license is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a criminal fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. A second offense is punishable by a criminal fine of not more than $1,000.00, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A person who converts funds paid pursuant to a prepaid contract to his or her own use or benefit other than as authorized by the Prepaid Act or who fails to escrow or trust funds according to the Prepaid Act is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years, or both, for each violation. A person who violates any other provision of the Prepaid Act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, for each violation.
Members of the public who have questions or concerns regarding the operation of Johnson Funeral Home may contact the Securities & Audit Division within LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing bureau at 517-335-5237, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, or by email at LARA-CSCL-Securities-Audit@michigan.gov.
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