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Tallahassee funeral director arrested for grand theft

Dozens of victims sold fraudulent funeral contracts
Posted at 6:16 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 18:18:01-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Richardson's Funeral Home on S. Adams St. is closed now, but the owner, Derrick Theodis Richardson, Sr., is now being held accountable for selling fraudulent funeral contracts to dozens of people.

Florida Statute requires that funeral homes hold "pre-need" licenses in order to furnish future funeral merchandise or services. Although he never held such a license, Richardson made dozens of pre-need sales. The statute also requires these payments be placed in a trust until such time they are needed.

On November 2, 2016, Richardson he violated that statute. He was fined $1,000 to be paid to the Department of Financial Services and his funeral license was placed on probation for one year.

A consumer complaint was placed in September 2017 about a pre-need contract sold by Richardson. Shortly after, officials determined that Richardson had not yet received or applied for a pre-need license, and had sold an additional five contracts after being originally charged.

A total of $47,721.27 in checks or money orders was cashed at either banks or pawn shops.

On Jan 28, a warrant stating Richardson had committed grand theft was issued and the former funeral director was arrested.

He was later released on a $5,000 bond.