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Tuesday, March 10, 2015
KLAHOMA CITY – A Hughes County funeral home director turned himself after an investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit. Donald Williamson is accused of embezzling almost $75,000 from 28 families who set up prepaid funeral trusts.
“We take crimes like this very seriously,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “People are very vulnerable when it comes to funeral planning. They need to be able to trust their funeral home workers. I commend the investigators of our Anti-Fraud Unit. They will continue to bring justice to Oklahoma consumers.”
Williamson owns Williamson-Spradlin Funeral Home in Wetumka. He admitted to investigators he accepted money for prepaid funeral trust accounts and deposited the money into a bank account for his funeral home from November 2011 to December 2014. By law, prepaid funeral trust account money should go into a separate trust account and not be used for any other purpose.
On Friday, officials from the Oklahoma Insurance Department will be available to meet with anyone who bought a prepaid funeral trust from the Williamson-Spradlin Funeral Home. Residents are asked to bring prepaid funeral trust paperwork to the City of Wetumka Council Board Room at 202 N. Main anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meetings are confidential.
“Our Anti-Fraud Unit worked closely with the Hughes County District Attorney’s office on this investigation. They have been very helpful to our case and aggressive in bringing Mr. Williamson to justice,” said Rick Wagnon, director of OID’s Anti-Fraud Unit. “We have seen cases like this before. In 2011, a Creek County funeral home director was charged with fraud after a similar investigation.”
Williamson will face felony counts of embezzlement and violations of the Prepaid Funeral Act. He could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 per count.
The Anti-Fraud Unit is a commissioned law enforcement agency that conducts investigations of various white-collar crimes related to insurance fraud. Oklahomans can click here to report fraud or by calling 1-800-522-0071.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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