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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Funeral Home Owner Indicted on Corruption, Theft, Fraud Charges

DAYTON -- Michelle L. Gavin, 45, of Brookville and the co-owner of the now-closed MagettiGavin Funeral Home in Dayton, has been indicted on 51 counts, including corruption, theft and fraud charges.

Gavin and her husband owned, operated and managed the MagettiGavin Funeral Home at 1508 Valley Street.

Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. said Friday that Gavin sold preneeds funeral contracts, which are prepaid funeral arrangements. The funeral home is to deposit and retain those funds in either a trust or a life insurance policy as required by law.

Also, funeral home operators home selling preneeds contracts are required to file annual reports with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors detailing where the prepaid contract funds are secured.

According to Heck, Gavin accepted and illegally converted more than $200,000 for preneeds contracts, from more than 60 persons, and those funds are now gone. The defendant also filed fraudulent annual reports with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors in an attempt to conceal evidence of her theft.

This defendant accepted money from these victims for their prepaid funeral expenses and, instead of securing that money as required by law in order that it would be available when the person died, she used the money for her own personal expenses," Heck said. "In some cases, when there really was an insurance policy, she reported to the insurance underwriter that the policy holder had died and received the insurance funds, when in fact they were still alive. Most of the victims are elderly or disabled.

Heck said Gavin's victims thought their final expenses would be covered. Instead, these victims are now facing the loss of the money paid and also must pay for their funeral a second time.

Gavin was indicted on the following:

Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, 1 count
Theft from an Elderly or Disabled Person > $150,000, 1 count
Grand Theft > $7,500, 1 count
Insurance Fraud, 14 counts
Tampering With Records, 16 counts
Violation of Preneeds Contracts, 18 counts

Gavin faces a possible prison sentence of more than 100 years and fines of more than $190,000.

"A warrant for her arrest has been issued and we are asking for a high bond," Heck said.

 
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