FUNERAL HOME OWNER PLEADS GUILTY TO LOOTING PRE-NEED FUNDS
Comptroller's office and Randolph County authorities brought investigation
July 5, 2019
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza is commending Randolph County authorities for pursuing justice on behalf of consumers who purchased pre-need funeral services from a local mortuary director who failed to deposit their money as required by law.
The case stems from an investigation by the Office of Illinois Comptroller, which administers and enforces state laws regarding pre-need funeral purchases and service delivery.
Nathan Lee, the former owner of McDaniel-Lee Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sparta, pleaded guilty this week to two counts of failure to deposit funds. He was arrested and charged in November. Authorities expect his sentencing to occur in September.
Mendoza also praised her staff, which worked closely with Sparta police and the Randolph County state's attorney on the investigation.
“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.”