IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) - An former funeral home owner accused of scamming dozens of his clients has entered into a plea deal.
Marti Schrauben, 38, of Portland pleaded guilty to one count of uttering and publishing, and no contest to charges of forgery, uttering and publishing, insurance fraud and embezzlement of between $50,000 and $100,000.
Schrauben was originally charged with 27 felonies including embezzlement and racketeering. He allegedly stole $500,000 meant to pre-pay for 80 funerals. Though he co-founded Schrauben-Lehman Funeral Home in Ionia, he was not an at the time of the alleged crimes between 2008 and 2011.
Investigators say he took the names of customers who pre-paid for funerals, then made up fake death certificates to collect insurance money to fund the country club and party store he owned.
Under the plea deal, he was required to pay $50,000 restitution Tuesday, which he did, and $200,000 before his sentencing. The date for that sentencing has not yet been set, but will be within the next six weeks.
The prosecutor agreed to recommend one year in jail and five years probation.
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