WARREN - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Office and the Ohio Department of Insurance are investigating the Robert P. McDermott Memorial Home in Niles and the McClurkin Funeral Home in Girard, both accused of mishandling money given to them for preneed funeral contracts.
DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said the office is offering help through Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation forensic auditors, who will review the financial books of both funeral homes to see if any fraudulent or illegal activity happened.
Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins told the Tribune Chronicle in September after news of McClurkin's troubles surfaced that he and the police departments in Niles and Girard asked for ''some forensic help to evaluate the amounts of money that have been announced.''
Ohio's Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has accused McClurkin's directors of stealing more than $400,000 from several consumers. The violations against McDermott involve converting more than $150,000 he received for preneed services for his own personal use.
The state board suspended the funeral director's and embalmer's licenses for the two directors of the McClurkin Funeral Home and the license to operate the funeral home on State Street.
The state board revoked McDermott's funeral directors license earlier this year, but his embalmers license remains active. In August, state investigators and Niles police confiscated a laptop from McDermott's home and more computers, business records and cremated remains of 42 customers from the funeral home on Warren Avenue.
The remains in urns, containers and Ziploc bags, and some of the ashes labeled as unidentified have turned up questions from former McDermott customers who have questioned whether they have the proper remains of their family members and loved ones.
Meanwhile, Farmers National Bank in Canfield has sued the McClurkin Funeral Home for non-payment of two loans totaling $425,000.