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Funeral director ordered to repay customers

April 5, 2013

BUFFALO — A Fredonia funeral director was ordered to repay customers who made advance payments after he improperly spent the money beforehand....

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(22)

peterjr

Apr-06-13 9:05 PM

A business person has tough time, maybe not the brightest light in the attic, and look at you people, judgement, throwing stones from your glass houses. Typical Fredonia or as Mark Twain wrote, The Corruption of Hadleyburg, you think you're all perfect. Your conservative little town has no imagination, no creativity. You are being robbed constantly by your village lawyer and his full benefits but it's ok because he is one of you. Fools.

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commentor

Apr-06-13 6:33 PM

Conrad....If the person was dead he would have been entitled to the money because he would have performed the funeral.....LOL

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Christopher

Apr-06-13 1:33 PM

The best form of a pre-paid funeral is an insurance policy big enough to cover it, or a savings account. Anything else is a risk.

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225522

Apr-06-13 10:42 AM

Truly: "THE LAST GUY TO LET YOU DOWN'

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PhilJulian

Apr-06-13 9:31 AM

It looks to me like a form of a Ponzi scheme. I have to wonder if pre-paid funerals are a good idea.

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JTNYMOM

Apr-05-13 8:51 PM

LOL My comment was removed~ Sometimes the truth hurts...he's slimy and and has been for decades!! $19,000 is probably just the tip of the iceberg! Can't believe he's still in business!

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Conrad

Apr-05-13 7:50 PM

Call it what you want, but this is actually stealing from a dead person. How low of a thief is this guy.

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Bulldog

Apr-05-13 6:24 PM

My son had a business in Fredonia, and Mike stiffed him once, the second time it happened, it was not a mistake.We tossed the bum out!

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ProudToBeUnAmerican

Apr-05-13 6:22 PM

Once again a mostly law-abiding capitalist is punished for trying to make a buck. Disgusting!

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sunnyhoney

Apr-05-13 5:42 PM

A 'mistake' made four times is not someones opinion, it is fact commentor.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 2:39 PM

commenter: Read the document embedded in the article where he testifies - under oath - as to what he did. Read, too, the court order.

And the fact it took a NYS Supreme Court suit and court order for him to "fess up and repay" should make very clear his guilt.

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commentor

Apr-05-13 1:57 PM

None of you know the facts, however, you have all put yourselves on his jury. Having an opinion is one thing. Saying this or that as fact is another. I agree it is hard to believe he didn't know what to do with the funds and doing it four times is hardly a mistake. But, that is only an opinion not a fact. As for Michael given the Fredonia Community he has surely killed his business.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 1:22 PM

An account that is a depository for personal or business funds cannot be an escrow account which has a fiduciary designation. Not depositing client funds into an escrow account established for that purpose and/or comingling client funds with personal or other business funds is a breach and, in this case, stealing.

Fantauzzi testified he did this FOUR times. A mistake? Hardly. He also told the OAG he didn’t have the money to refund $11k – that he could only afford $1k/month – but somehow found the money to pay ANOTHER complainant over $11k after they threatened to turn him in!

You don’t escrow other people’s money and, instead, steal it – much less can’t pay it back – and it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars and takes the NYS Supreme Court to make things right?

This may sound harsh, but I hope the only family that uses his funeral home from this point forward is his own family when it's his time to be judged before God.

Shameful behavior...

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 1:22 PM

An account that is a depository for personal or business funds cannot be an escrow account which has a fiduciary designation. Not depositing client funds into an escrow account established for that purpose and/or comingling client funds with personal or other business funds is a breach and, in this case, stealing.

Fantauzzi testified he did this FOUR times. A mistake? Hardly. He also told the OAG he didn’t have the money to refund $11k – that he could only afford $1k/month – but somehow found the money to pay ANOTHER complainant over $11k after they threatened to turn him in!

You don’t escrow other people’s money and, instead, steal it – much less can’t pay it back – and it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars and takes the NYS Supreme Court to make things right?

This may sound harsh, but I hope the only family that uses his funeral home from this point forward is his own family when it's his time to be judged before God.

Shameful behavior...

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LOVEPEACEANDQUIET

Apr-05-13 12:11 PM

I had run in with this man at gas station..My car was getting gas,he pulled hearse in behind me,got out of it and started ranting and raving for me to move my car because he was in a hurry..he came up to my window yelling at me...man in car on other side of pumps came over to help me and told this rude man to get away from my car...I went home and told my family "when I die don't use this funeral home"

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 11:49 AM

"Embezzlement" is one thing, "Grand Larceny" is another, and in reality, "Fraud" would be more appropriate. BUT, and this is a big "but", what one can prove is the determining factor. At this point, no harm no foul, and the real issue will be damage to his reputation. Justice has been served. Anyone else prepaid is fine and will be fine, as the money is in an untouchable Escrow account. If he's jailed, he goes out of business, files bankruptcy, who gets paid? It wasn't murder, and he's made everyone whole.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 11:01 AM

"Funeral director admits making a mistake?"

I'd call it embezzlement...

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 11:01 AM

Ok Outhouse Lawyers, here's the deal; for a CONVICTION one has to PROVE guilt. Proving a deliberate action instead of a "bookkeeping error" might not have been as simple as it seems, and the biggest deal was to ensure every victim was repaid, and they were. I'd say the bad publicity will be harm enough in the long run. And a great many people, even burglars and thieves, even convicted, don't always do "time".

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Captain

Apr-05-13 10:23 AM

Is anyone surprised? A relatively small fine (if caught) isn't enough to deter others from doing the same. This guy will simply pad his bill on future customers to cover the fine. The bad publicity is the worst part, but he's had it before, and his business is still thriving. Why local people keep using this guy's services is beyond me.

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whoseits

Apr-05-13 9:13 AM

HE'S A JERK ALWAYS HAS BEEN PLUS HE TRIES TO STICK HIS NOSE IN YOU PERSONEL WHEN YOUR TRYING TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS .THE PRIEST FROM ST.ANTHONYS THREE YEARS TOLD HIM TO MIND HIS OWN BUSINESS.

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roberta2

Apr-05-13 7:52 AM

Well -As Ive said time after time -- School board --Political person's-- Fredonia business person --They can do no wrong--! And get away with it all the time --Think back over the years

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Clowns

Apr-05-13 6:11 AM

This guy STOLE money from two people and gets a chance to pay it back? Most people would be arrested and restitution be a part of his sentence. Guess its different strokes for different folks.

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