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Investigation into Batavia funeral home leads to arrest, nearly 200 charges

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 18:35:55-04

BATAVIA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Genesee County Sheriff's Office says a Batavia man has been arrested in connection with the business practices of Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, LLC in Batavia.

The sheriff's office said the investigation into the funeral home began after a complaint from the Genesee County Office for the Aging on behalf of a customer.

It is alleged that 48-year-old Michael S. Tomaszewski received pre-paid payments for the future funeral expenses of 91 customers for which trust accounts were never opened. Under NYS law the money must be deposited into a trust within 10 days. Tomaszewski is also accused of receiving payments from two customers for headstones and gravesites which were never purchased.

The sheriff's office says it is also alleged various amounts from $350 to $15,500 were paid by customers to Tomaszweski for specific future funeral expenses. Officials say it is believed those funds were never placed intro trust accounts and were not used for the specified purpose.

Tomaszewski was charged and arraigned via Skype Thursday, he was released on his own recognizance and is due back in Batavia Town Court September 17 at 10 a.m.

The sheriff's office says Tomaszewski currently faces nearly 200 charges and the total losses in regards to all of his charges are approximately $525,000. Further charges are pending as the investigation continues. The following charges have been filed:

  • 91 counts of failure to deposit monies
  • 61 counts of grand larceny in the third degree
  • 29 counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree
  • Five counts of falsifying business records in the first degree
  • Three counts of petit larceny
  • Two counts of scheme to defraud in the first degree
  • One count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree

Anyone who believes they may be a victim can call Pre-Plan at (800) 577-3752 to verify they have a Pre-Plan account or the sheriff's office at (585) 343-5000.