Ex-funeral director to prison insurance thefts

Marti Schrauben. (July 2012 file photo)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A funeral home director who cashed in people’s life insurance before they died is headed to prison.

Marti Schrauben was sentenced Wednesday to a maximum of four years in prison. The amount of restitution he will be required to pay will be determined at a later hearing.

Schrauben is a former co-owner of an Ionia funeral home and worked there after selling his share to begin other businesses in the Portland area.

Investigators say he stole about $500,000 from pre-paid funeral accounts and by making fake death certificates to cash in people’s insurance policies. It fell apart when a customer passed away a year after the insurance policy was cashed out.

He was convicted earlier this year of embezzlement, forgery and racketeering.

But last week, an Ionia County judge overturned  the convictions for embezzlement from the funeral home. The judge found the money taken did not belong to the funeral home, so the convictions were not sustainable.

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