He took money from elderly people who thought they were doing right by their families by pre-arranging and pre-paying for their funeral and cemetery services and he spent it on himself, now Stockton funeral home owner Reginald Thompson is going to jail.
In February, Thompson was convicted of five felony and two misdemeanor counts that included theft from an elder, grand theft for money owed to a local cemetery and elder abuse. He was recently sentenced to six years and eight months in county jail and community supervision.
This case was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Cemetery and Funeral Bureau and the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office.
"Our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members who are investigators within the Department of Consumer Affairs work daily to protect consumers," said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. "And in this case, they put a stop to someone who stole from senior citizens who weren't going to leave the burden of funeral expenses to somebody else."
Investigators found Thompson took thousands of dollars from nearly a dozen elderly clients, some of them in their 90's, who went to Thompson Memorial Chapel for pre-arranged funeral and cemetery services. He used the money for his own personal benefit.
Investigators believe there could be additional victims. Anyone who has a pre-need funeral contract purchased from Thompson should contact the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.
"We will vigorously prosecute people who steal from the elderly, and we thank the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau for working with us," said San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Sherri Adams.
In addition to Thompson's conviction, the Bureau is seeking to revoke all licenses associated with Thompson.