Families and funeral homes harmed by NPS will hope that company’s owners and officers have to face a judge like the Honorable Richard Rome.
The Hutchinson News reported that District Judge Richard Rome rejected a plea bargain for probation, and sentenced Fairlawn Burial Park’s owner to almost 5 years in prison. A Kansas Secretary of State audit of Fairlawn’s permanent maintenance trust and preneed merchandise trust found several hundreds of thousands of dollars missing. The owner’s attorney suggested the funds were used to keep the cemetery operating.
While prosecutors negotiated a deal to replenish the trusts, the judge disregarded the plea bargain and sentenced Ms. McDonough to prison. The message to operators is that if the cemetery needs funds for operations, don’t borrow them from the trusts.