Updated: 11:18 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 | Posted: 8:16 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

McLin Funeral Home license revoked; prosecutor may investigate

$100K unaccounted for at funeral home.



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McLin Funeral Home license revoked; prosecutor may investigate photo
The state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors announced Thursday that “well over $100,000” in prepaid funeral service money, that McLin was supposed to handle, is still unaccounted for, according to Jennifer Baugess, the board’s compliance administrative assistant.

By Kelli Wynn

Staff Writer

DAYTON — The license for McLin Funeral Home, Inc. is permanently revoked and now the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating whether criminal charges need to be filed, according to a state official.

The state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors announced Thursday that “well over $100,000” in prepaid funeral service money, that the funeral home was supposed to handle, is still unaccounted for, according to Jennifer Baugess, the board’s compliance administrative assistant. “We contacted them so they could look at possible criminal charges,” Baugess said of the prosecutor’s office.

The board became the court-appointed receiver of McLin’s prepaid funeral service contracts after the licenses of the funeral home and its director, Scherrie McLin, were suspended by the state in March for violating nine state laws and administrative codes.

Columbus attorney Marc Myers, hearing officer at McLin’s Sept. 8 summary suspension hearing, called the funeral home a dangerous threat to the public in a 20-page report to the board. Myers recommended in November that the board revoke McLin’s licenses after his suspension hearing investigation indicated that McLin had held a body for ransom, buried a body in the wrong spot, employed an unlicensed funeral director, failed to answer customer questions about the remains of loved ones, failed to answer questions about the location of certain funds and waited several weeks to pick up a body from the county coroner’s office.

The state is still seeking the court’s response to who has the authority to take possession of up to 60 containers of cremated remains that state board investigators found inside the funeral home on Oct. 4.

The office of Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. would not comment on the matter.

Scherrie McLin could not be reached for comment.

State records show that McLin Funeral Home, Inc. is the first funeral home in Montgomery County to have its licensed permanently revoked and Scherrie McLin is the first funeral director in the county to a funeral director’s license permanently revoked, according to Baugess.

“They should be shut down,” Shirley King of Louisville, Ky., said of the funeral home. She complained in February to the state board that funeral home officials waited three weeks to pick up the body of her 91-year-old uncle. King also accused McLin of lying about when her uncle’s body would be cremated. “The way they treated my uncle was uncalled for,” King said.

McLin Funeral Home, Inc., 2801 N. Gettysburg Ave., is the seventh funeral home in the state to go through a formal process with the state board and then have its license permanently revoked, since 2000. Scherrie McLin is the eighth funeral director in the state to have her funeral director’s license permanently revoked since 2000.

“We had a couple of people surrender their license in lieu of going through the administrative process,” Baugess said.

McLin can no longer be a funeral director in Ohio, but she can attempt to be one in another state. “However, other states require information from Ohio and we would be required to disclose any disciplinary action,” Baugess said.

McLin could have avoided some of her issues with the state board by properly funding the prepaid contracts her business had, according to Baugess.

Baugess said the board does not plan on pursuing any action against McLin’s son Mark Donelson, who misled the public into thinking that he was a licensed funeral director when he was not.

The state board wants to hear from consumers who have not yet contacted the board, which is the court appointed receiver, about their prepaid funeral services with McLin or those of loved ones. The state board can be reached at (614) 466-4252. Board officials will also direct those consumers to contact a investigator with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2414 or kelli.wynn@coxinc.com


Advice to consumers

Consumers are encouraged to do their due diligence when selecting a funeral home, according to Jennifer Baugess, Compliance Administrative assistant for the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

Here are some other tips:

  • If you are making prepaid funeral service arrangements, keep track of where your money is going after you give it to the funeral home. “In Ohio, that money has to go to an insurance company or to a trust company and the consumer will receive confirmation of the money received,” Baugess said.
  • Avoid paying in cash so that you have a paper trail.
  • Pay attention to information you receive that makes you feel uneasy or doesn’t sound right. This could be a sign that you are going with the wrong funeral home.
  • Don’t go by yourself when meeting with funeral home officials. “Someone may think of questions that you don’t think to ask,” Baugess said.
  • The state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors can be reached at (614) 466-4252.

Dayton Daily News Reporter Kelli Wynn broke this story in January 2010 after confirming that the funeral home’s articles of incorporation had been canceled in 2009 for unpaid state taxes.

Her inquiries with the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors prompted an investigation into the funeral home’s operations, which led to a state examiner recommending in November that the state board revoke Scherrie McLin’s funeral director’s license and the funeral home’s license.

 
 

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