05/14/13 — Funeral director loses his license

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Funeral director loses his license

By John Joyce
Published in News on May 14, 2013 1:46 PM

The former director of funeral services for E.M. Matthews Funeral Home and Cremations, Eric Montaye Matthews, has been charged with embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense.

The charges stem from an investigation of the funeral home, which is located at 401 N. William St., which was conducted by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Criminal Investigations Division, in Raleigh.

According to records obtained through the Wayne County Clerk of Court's office, Matthews, 31, whose home address is listed as 1009 Delta River Way, Knightdale, faces charges of embezzlement resulting from the sale of pre-need funeral service contracts while not being licensed or authorized to do so. He also is charged with not depositing the money into a trust fund or insurance policy, as required by law, within five days.

According to a press release from the state Board of Funeral Service, which regulates funeral home operation, Matthews also made a false statement on a death certificate.

The first count, arising from a Feb. 1, 2010, transaction cites "multiple companies" defrauded in the amount of $18,846. The second names Joan Chiapuzzi as the victim of fraud in the amount of $7,375 and is dated May 26, 2011.

The remaining incidents, from Aug. 11 and Aug. 29, 2011, name Marvin Shearod in the amount of $1,350 and Willie Garret in the amount of $4,965.

Matthews waived his right to court-appointed counsel and is expected to hire his own representation. He was bonded out the same day of his arrest.

Matthews' license and funeral establishment permits were revoked effective May 8, according to a press release from the state Board of Funeral Homes.

He cannot reapply for either until February 2015. Matthews is also ineligible to apply for a pre-needs license indefinitely and ordered by the board to make restitution to his alleged victims.

Calls to the state Department of Insurance were referred to the entity's public information office and no comment was available by deadline.

The state Board of Funeral Service also did not return calls by the time of publication.

The funeral home is now operating under the name Matthews Funeral Home. On the funeral home's website, the names of the president and general manager have been changed.

Matthews was contacted this morning.

He said he could not comment, saying he needed to speak to his attorney.