BATAVIA, N.Y. — The Genesee County Sheriff's Office says they are investigating two new allegations against a Batavia funeral director.
On July 23, Michael Tomaszewski, 48, was arrested on nearly 200 charges relating to pre-payments for funeral services at Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, where he worked as the funeral director.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Tomaszewski is accused of taking pre-payments from more than 90 customers and then never putting the money into state-mandated trust accounts or using it for headstones or graves customers believed they purchased.
Tuesday, the Sheriff's Office said they are investigating two more allegations that surfaced this week involving the mishandling of remains of a baby and a veteran at the funeral home.
"The investigation also has turned to include whether or not he didn't appropriately care for remains and did not bury somebody properly as he was required to do and said he would do, that investigation is still open" said Genesee County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Finnell.
Tomaszewski is not facing any charges in connection with the new allegations, they are still under investigation.
The Genesee County Sheriff's Office says an investigation into Tomaszewski's business practices began in February, after a complaint was received from the county Office of the Aging on behalf of a customer. The customer was concerned about the pre-payment they made for funeral arrangements.
In New York State, it is required that funeral directors take pre-planning payments and place them into trust accounts in the customer's name within 10 days of receiving the money. Tomaszewski is accused of not doing so for 91 customers, as well as never purchasing headstones and grave sites for two customers who had paid him to do so.
These customers allegedly each paid between $350 and $15,500 to Tomaszewski for future funeral expenses.
Tomaszewski also allegedly created business documents showing fictitious account information for trust accounts that had not actually been opened.
He is also accused of giving the Genesee County Department of Social Services a document that referenced a fictitious account, to be filed with the department.
It is also alleged that Tomaszewski was engaged in a scheme to systematically and intentionally defraud more than 10 people, including with the intent to defraud more than one vulnerable elderly person.
All of the above lead to nearly 200, including multiple felonies and violations of New York State business laws. The charges are:
- 61 counts of grand larceny in the third degree, a class D felony
- 29 counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree, a class E Felony
- 5 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, a class E felony
- 2 counts to scheme to defraud in the first degree, a class E felony
- 1 count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, a class E felony
- 3 counts of petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor
- 91 counts of failure to deposit monies, a violation of New York State General Business law Sec.453, a class A misdemeanor
Since Tomaszewski's arrest, Finnell said more people have been coming forward with complaints.
"The Sheriff's Department is investigating each one of those complaints and we will be filing other charges as appropriate" he said.
2 On Your Side called the funeral home to speak with Tomaszewski about the charges against him but our call has not been returned.