Niles funeral home director pleads guilty to theft - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Niles funeral home director pleads guilty to theft

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NILES, Ohio - A Niles funeral director who ran what authorities called a “pre-pay funeral scam” has accepted a plea deal. 

Robert McDermott, 52, of Niles, admitted his guilt to ten of the 19 counts against him.  21 News reporter Lindsay McCoy said McDermott offered no apologies to the victims who were in the courtroom on Thursday.

Prosecutors said the victims trusted that McDermott would put their money into a trust account to eventually pay for funeral arrangements, but the money disappeared. 

Chuck Morrow, Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor, said McDermott mismanaged more than $250,000, much of which is still unaccounted for.

In some cases, insurance companies are stepping in to assume contracts signed with McDermott.

"There's been a number of individuals that have been accorded or afforded coverage from the insurance companies," said Morrow.

The charges McDermott plead guilty to include; theft of the elderly, grand theft, forgery, and tampering with evidence.   McDermott was stripped of his funeral license by the state when it was discovered he failed to properly fund the pre-paid funerals.  Prosecutors say up to $250,000 is missing and they don’t know where the money is.


The state is recommending a sentence of 3 to 25 years for McDermott and restitution, but it’s up to the judge to sentence him.   

McDermott’s sentencing hearing will be held on June 11, 2014.

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