Nearly half million dollars paid to victims of dilapidated Adams County cemetery

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HARRISBURG, Pa — Victims of a cemetery owner who authorities say took over a million dollars from hundreds of people desiring to make burial arrangements for themselves or loved ones are receiving money from a state fund. Approximately 245 applications have been processed and paid totaling a little over $490,000. The spokesperson for the fund points out none of the money comes from taxpayers.

Last month, James Delaney, the former owner of Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens in Cumberland Twp., Adams County was charged with Theft By Deception, after hundreds of complaints were received by the Cumberland Township Police Department. Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett said Delaney defrauded nearly 700 people for money paid for burial items such as grave markers, headstones or caskets, which were never received.

Delaney lost ownership after defaulting on a loan, but allegedly took money from customers who paid for various funeral or burial items.

The grounds were also neglected, with piles of dirt, ruts, and headstones in disrepair.