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Former funeral home CEO charged in federal court

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A former funeral home director has been charged in federal court with using for his own purposes money that had been paid in advance for funerals.

The 23-count indictment charges E. Thomas Dunlap Jr. with wire fraud, bank fraud, unlawful monetary transactions and committing fraud that induced interstate travel. Dunlap, 55, of Oklahoma City, pleaded innocent Thursday and is free on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

Dunlap's embalming and funeral director's licenses were revoked in January 1998 by the Oklahoma State Board of Embalmers after allegations surfaced that he had embezzled about $1 million in prepaid funeral funds.

Dunlap allegedly spent some of the money on a Dallas home and three automobiles, according to reports at the time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Leitch said he believes those who paid for their funerals in advance have since been reimbursed.

The grand jury indictment says that in late 1994, Dunlap -- as chief executive officer of Dunlap Funeral Services Inc. -- entered into agreements to buy several funeral homes as well as prepaid funeral trust accounts from Stanleys Funeral Service in Tulsa, Kennard Funeral Services in Broken Arrow and Kelley Funeral Homes. The Kelley accounts included trust funds from Wilson-Cunningham Funeral Homes in Locust Grove and Pryor.

Dunlap no longer owns the funeral homes or the trust funds, which were the subject of the alleged illegal activity.
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