Canadian Funeral Home Owner Busted For Cremains Fraud

The former owner of a funeral home in Princeton, British Columbia, has been charged with fraud for handing out random urns of ashes to his customers. The funeral home had been shut down in 2005 for operating without a license, but since it’s rather difficult to spot the “wrong” ashes by sight, the problem wasn’t discovered until another funeral home began to sort through the leftover inventory and found over 50 urns that had been labeled unclaimed.

The families discovered the problem when contacted by another funeral home that had received 56 urns of cremated human remains from the Princeton-Similkameen Funeral Services after it shut down in 2005 for operating without a license.

The urns were labeled as being unclaimed by the families who had paid for cremations and thought they already had the ashes. Police spent 19 months investigating the case and determining which remains went to which family.

If you plan on purchasing a cremation service, read this helpful checklist of things to look for and ask before making a decision. If the crematory is unwilling to answer these questions, it’s a pretty good sign you should look elsewhere.

“Funeral director charged with ashes fraud” [Reuters]

“How to Inspect a Crematory” []


Edit Your Comment

  1. timmus says:

    I’m actually stunned that this doesn’t happen far more often. I’ve often wondered if the cremation services give a damn about sorting the remains. That said, I also think it should be a felony offense — no one should screw around with the remains of a family member.

  2. parad0x360 says:

    @timmus: I would imagine it happens more often then people think.

    I dont have time to RTA but is this at all related to the cremation service that wasnt burning the bodies and instead burying them to save money and then giving people just normal old ashes?

  3. BigNutty says:

    And what religion do you believe in that gives a damn about the ashes of the deceased. Why does anyone care about the ashes of a dead family member?

    I’m not saying the funeral guy was right, but get on with your life. If you are a Christian you should realize that the ashes of the deceased don’t mean diddly squat.

    My mothers ashes were delivered to our house in a cardboard box. I don’t think I could tell if it was really her ashes or not, but it didn’t matter.

    Oh, happy holidays to everyone and I hope you have a happy, but more importantly, healthy new year.

  4. EtherealStrife says:

    @BigNutty: It’s fraud. Religion has nothing to do with it.

  5. Rusted says:

    @BigNutty: I do hope for a better year and think that’s it gonna happen. Thanks for the wish.

    Tis true once we slip our mortal coil, the last thing we should worry about is the clay we once inhabited. Still, a contract is a contract, and if the ashes in question are not the deceased, then the terms of the contract were not fulfilled.

  6. HOP says:

    i’m wondering what happens to all those brass handles and fittings on the 6 thousand dollar coffins they burn….do our family’s get a rebate on these things? i don’t think they burn the coffin, just the remains, and some one else buys the same box…..


  7. econobiker says:

    Supposedly concrete mix works well as a stand in for cremated ashes.

    (I had met the mother of the idiot from the Marsh crematory crimes in Northern GA. In that case the fellow seemed to be just plum lazy as the mother was an uppity social do-gooder who was very active in the community. Of course he had to go to prison as there were too many people who wanted to kill him after disrespecting the bodies of their relatives.)