Funeral home director faces additional theft charges as more victims come forward
FAYETTE COUNTY — A funeral home director in Uniontown faces additional charges after he allegedly stole another large sum of money from elderly clients who had pre-paid for their own funerals.
In January, investigators believed that Stephen E. Kezmarsky III, 50, collected approximately $284,393 in advance payments from 51 clients to cover their funeral expenses at the Kezmarsky Funeral Home. That total has now increased to $528,770 after 31 more victims came forward, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Fayette County District Attorney Richard Brower announced Wednesday.
Instead of placing the money in escrow — as required under state law — Kezmarsky allegedly co-mingled the funds with his business and personal accounts and misappropriated his clients’ money between October 2010 and March 2017.
Kezmarsky is charged with an additional 89 felony and misdemeanor counts of theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds and insurance fraud, according to Shapiro. He stands charged with more than 170 felonies and misdemeanors.
“Many of the elderly victims in this case live on fixed incomes and set aside this money so their funerals wouldn’t be a burden on their loved ones,” Shapiro said. “They trusted this funeral home director. He betrayed their trust, stole their funds and we’re going to hold him accountable for his crimes and ensure every victim is heard.”
“If you or your loved one was victimized by this funeral home, I want to hear from you,” Shapiro concluded. “Call my Insurance Fraud investigators or District Attorney Bower. We’ll pursue every lead we receive.”
The Insurance Fraud number to call is 412-880-0129. The District Attorney’s office is 724-430-1245.