The Florida Department of Financial Services recently announced the arrest of a funeral home director in Jacksonville. According to an official statement from FDFS, Elliot Maurice Graham, a Funeral Director of Marion Graham Mortuaries in Jacksonville, faces multiple charges, including one felony count of Grand Theft and one misdemeanor count of Improper Preservation of a Human Body.
The arrest warrant was issued by the 4th Judicial Circuit Court following the execution of a search warrant by DFS on mortuary premises.
“We are going to do everything possible to put this guy behind bars for a very long time,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said. “Nothing is more important than family – and as our loved ones pass away – it’s always a difficult situation, and families are entrusting funeral directors to treat their loved ones with respect and dignity. These allegations indicate that this alleged criminal did the opposite. It appears he stole people’s money, doled out fake cremains, and abandoned a funeral home. We will aggressively pursue this former funeral home director and hold him accountable to the families he’s wronged.”
This funeral home has operated in the Jacksonville community since 1984. Florida funeral homes and mortuaries are held to certain standards for preserving the remains of the deceased. Florida’s Division of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services and Department Police received a complaint alleging the mishandling of cremated human remains. Upon receipt of the complaint, the respective officials acted to secure the mortuary premises, take proper care of the remains of three human bodies, and reunite the bodies with their loved ones. According to officials, the mortuary grounds are being treated as an official crime scene and any additional death services professionals involved in wrongdoing will face potential license revocation and possible additional criminal charges.
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