Hulmeville funeral home owner David Wayne Faust,53, pleaded guilty this week to a series of charges of fraud brought up last year.
Faust, who was the owner of Faust Funeral Home, allegedly stole nearly $300,000 in prepaid funeral deposits from clients, forged their death certificates and accepted more than $100,000 in government disability benefits he was not entitled to.
Faust pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges including theft by deception, forgery, tampering with public records, among others.
Initial charges were filed after investigators discovered Faust, who was arrested in April of 2017, had been forging death certificates of his clients.
In addition, authorities found Faust had also been forging doctor’s signatures in order to collect Social Security checks, amounting to over $100,000.
Over a month later, through search warrants, police discovered numerous customers fell victim to David Faust. Bank statements show 54 pre-paid clients had their funeral expenses stolen. A majority of the victims were more than 60 years old.
Some cases were worse than other. In 2003, Faust proclaimed a woman died from small cell cancer, but the woman was found alive and completely cancer free. Her death certificate was forged right after Faust had cleared more than 8,700 dollars from her account.
Some funds, averaging from 400 to over 14,000 dollars, have been repaid but the vast majority is still left unpaid. More than $255,000 is still owed along with the remaining social security money stolen.
No sentencing date has been set.
WBCB’s Shaun Grace contributed to this report.