SUFFERN — The former proprietor of Scarr Funeral Household has pleaded responsible to grand larceny in the theft of $531,017 involving funeral down payments retained in have faith in for 90 clients.
Leonard Scarr, the son of a former Suffern mayor and 3rd-era funeral house operator, faces two to six several years in condition jail when sentenced on Nov. 30 by County Court Judge Larry Schwartz at the County Courthouse in New Metropolis.
Scarr admitted Tuesday before Schwartz that he stole additional than $3,000 from two customers to go over charges in the indictment. Prosecutors accused him of making use of the funds for his own advantage.
The plea settlement contains Scarr paying $531,071 in restitution recommended by the Rockland District Attorney’s Business office to 90 consumers dating back again a decade.
Scarr was accused of ripping off purchasers who entrusted him with hundreds of pounds in down payments for funerals and burials for on their own or their beloved types.
“Getting ready to lay to relaxation a family members member or buddy is 1 of the hardest and most stressful instances in a person’s lifestyle,” Rockland District Lawyer Thomas Walsh reported. “With restitution being paid to the victims, this sentence is honest and brings justice to all involved functions.”
Ramapo police arrested Scarr on Aug. 17, 2020, following an investigation based on a March complaint that yr by a funeral home customer.
Law enforcement initially billed Scarr with stealing about $21,000 from 3 purchasers in between July and Oct 2019. But the investigation and publicity brought out dozens of extra consumers involving fraud.
Prosecutors stated a person client contracted with Scarr to set up a pay as you go burial account, The client is however alive.
Scarr deposited the money into an fascination-bearing account that he could only access upon the demise of the account holder.
But Scarr gained access to the account by forging a dying certificate in the victim’s name, introduced the certification to the bank, and withdrew the funds. Law enforcement stated Scarr did the same fraud to other purchasers.
Prosecutors mentioned Scarr utilised stolen cash for numerous own bills.
Regarding the second sufferer, Walsh claimed, Scarr contracted with her to established up a prepaid burial account, but never deposited the money into a mandated curiosity-bearing bank account.
In pleading responsible to a plan to defraud, Scarr admitted to failing to deposit and hold this kind of monies on deposit received from extra than 10 clients.
The law enforcement investigation led to additional clients currently being victimized in between April 2010 and August 2020.
The up-to-date grand jury indictment in November 2020 charged Scarr with:
- 27 counts of third-diploma grand larceny
- six counts of fourth-diploma grand larceny
- 66 counts of failure to deposit monies paid in progress in relationship with agreements for funeral merchandise and services
- two counts of next-degree forgery.
- two counts of 2nd-diploma prison possession of a forged instrument.
- two counts of plan to defraud
His attorney, Gerard Damiani of New Metropolis, said Scarr ran into economic troubles. Damiani, who negotiated the plea agreement, could not be instantly reached for remark.
Scarr has offered the funeral dwelling company, which had been a fixture in the western Ramapo village of Suffern since 1920. He took around for his father, Leonard A. Scarr, who served two terms as Suffern’s mayor from 1985 to 1989. The young Scarr was not a certified director who could manage the useless bodies.
Scarr bought his home in Warwick in Orange County and moved to Higher Saddle River, New Jersey.
Prosecutors had obtained a court purchase from Supreme Court Decide Robert Berliner freezing Scarr’s property, financial institution accounts, and sale of his Orange County home to guarantee the revenue would stay obtainable to reimburse his shoppers.
When the sale of the property closed past month, $540,000.00 was established aside to spend back the victims, Walsh explained. The victims will be repaid $9,000 for each thirty day period for the upcoming 5 several years, he reported.
Scarr was prosecuted by Govt Assistant District Attorney Michael Dugandzic and Senior Assistant District Attorney Melissa Robustello.
Steve Lieberman covers government, breaking information, courts, police, and investigations. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @lohudlegal. Read far more articles and bio. Our nearby coverage is only doable with support from our viewers.