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]

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“How to Inspect a Crematory” [Funerals.org]