Funeral home owner pleads guilty to keeping insurance funds - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Funeral home owner pleads guilty to keeping insurance funds

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RANDOLPH COUNTY (WSIL) -- A former funeral home owner in Sparta pleaded guilty to withholding money for prepaid funeral services.

Nathan Lee, the former owner of McDaniel-Lee Funeral Home and Cremation Service, pleaded guilty this week to two counts of failure to deposit funds. He was arrested and charged in November. 

The Illinois Comptroller's Office initiated the investigation on behalf of consumers, who purchased funeral services.

Law requires mortuary directors to deposit pre-need funeral funds. Pre-need insurance is used to pay for the costs of funeral services and burial or cremation ahead of time.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza is commending the Randolph County Sheriff's Department and Sparta Police for pursuing justice.

“People put their faith and trust in funeral directors. When consumers make the decision to pay for their arrangements in advance to take that financial burden off their survivors, they expect funeral directors to act ethically and to follow the law. That didn’t happen in this case,” Mendoza said. “I commend Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker and local authorities for their diligent work to ensure these consumers receive justice.”

Authorities expect Lee to be sentenced in September.

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