MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ A not guilty plea has been entered for an Oklahoma oilman who is accused of stealing millions of dollars from a funeral home's trust funds.
An attorney for Clayton Smart entered the plea for his client Tuesday.
The 67-year-old resident of Okmulgee in eastern Oklahoma has been jailed since April on charges that he and associates stole millions of dollars from the Forest Hill funeral homes.
Smart announced in the summer of 2006 that the funeral homes would no longer honor more than 13,000 prepaid funeral policies.
The state later accused Smart and business partners of stealing operating money and raiding trust funds used to cover prepaid funerals and cemetery maintenance.
1/10/2007 Tennessee Court Freezes Assets Of Cemetery Company
1/21/2007 Officials Say Funeral Home Owners Tried To Access Frozen Funds
1/26/2007 Michigan Freezes Oklahoma Attorney's Assets In Cemetery Investigation
5/17/2007 Muskogee Lawyer Surrenders In Tennessee
5/18/2007 Michigan Governor Seeks Extradition Of Okmulgee Oilman
5/26/2007 Businesses In Cemetery Scandal Will Offer Prepaid Funerals Again
7/1/2007 Oilman Charged In Cemetery Scandal To Stay In Jail
8/9/2007 Prosecutors Introduce Jail Recordings In Cemetery Trust Fund Case
8/10/2007 Businessman Bought Company With Its Own Money, Investigators Say
9/25/2007 Michigan To Sell 28 Cemeteries Owned By Oklahoman