Emory Bryan, News On 6
CREEK COUNTY -- A Creek County Funeral director has been arrested for fraud. He's accusing of spending money that was supposed to be in the bank, for "pre-need" funeral arrangements.
The arrest came Wednesday after a couple of years of questions and auditing for a funeral home and cemetery operator who authorities say lost the money through poor investments.
Ron Schumacher is behind bars in Creek County for embezzlement and fraud over allegations he took prepaid funeral money and spent it to prop up his failing business.
"And when you find out you've paid money over the years and it's not there, that's a problem," John Doak, Insurance Commissioner, said.
Schumacher owned two funeral homes, one in Bristow and one in Depew. A state audit determined his pre-paid trust account was $100,000 short.
Schumacher came up with most of the money, but faces embezzlement charges for emptying accounts containing money that was supposed to go towards funerals.
"We take matters like this very seriously because the trust of the funeral industry is a foundation because so much of what funeral directors do is done without being able to be seen by the public," Mark Riley, Oklahoma Funeral Board, said.
It's a new effort between the Funeral Board and Insurance Commission to root out fraud.
"He will go to court and hopefully we can get restitution for families who have apparently lost their money," Randy Brogdon, Deputy Insurance Commissioner, said. "They put money in trust and it's no longer there."
Schumacher has denied wrongdoing, but is now without a license to operate while he faces felony charges.