AG: Ionia funeral director pleads ‘no contest’ in embezzlement scheme
LANSING, Mich. – An Ionia County funeral director pleaded ‘no contest’ to 73 felony counts Tuesday in an embezzlement scheme, according to the Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Marti Schrauben, 43, pleaded to 70 felony counts of Uttering and Publishing and three counts of Converting Prepaid Funeral Funds between 2008 and 2010 when he was funeral director at Schrauben Lehman Funeral Home, according to Schuette.
The AG’s office says that Schrauben previously served 16 months in prison after being convicted of an embezzlement scheme he ran through the funeral home. Schuette says Schrauben stole around $400,000 by forging death certificates for people who were still living and filed fake insurance claims. He also reportedly forged the owners name on checks and deposited the funds in his accounts. He also reportedly asked customers to write checks for pre-paid funerals payable to his own personal business account and they did not deposit the funds into an appropriate escrow account.
The 73 counts were dismissed by a trial judge in 2014, but were reinstated after the Court of Appeals overruled the decision. After the charges were reinstated, Schrauben entered his plea.
Sentencing for Schrauben has not yet been scheduled.