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Posted: 2:21 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013

Ex-funeral home director McLin going to prison

By Breaking News Staff

DAYTON —

Former funeral home owner Scherrie McLin is going to prison.

McLin, 53, was given a sentence in court today of four years in prison and credited 16 days of time served. She must pay court costs and restitution for 73 victims, or nearly $243,000.

She pleaded guilty in August to 12 felony counts related to more than $200,000 in missing funds from pre-need contracts.

McLin, owned and operated the business at 2801 N.Gettysburg Ave. until her director license and the home's license were permanently revoked last year by the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

In court today, she faced her victims and said when she is released from prison, she will get a job and pay them back.

McLin had been set to go on trial in August on 17 felony counts. She pleaded guilty to one count of theft from an elderly or disabled person; two counts grand theft; two counts tampering with government records; and seven counts violation of pre-needs contracts, said Greg Flannagan, spokesman for Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.'s office said in August.

During court proceedings today, Judge Mary Katherine Huffman said "This is a pattern of behavior that Scherrie McLin inherited from others who owned the funeral home before her."

Through pre-needs funeral contracts, individuals pay in advance for their funeral arrangements. The funeral home is then supposed to deposit and retain those funds in either a trust or a life insurance policy as required by law and file annual reports with the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors detailing where the prepaid contract funds are secured.

By pleading guilty, McLin admitted to taking more than $200,000 from pre-needs contracts belonging to more than 60 victims. She also was convicted of filing fraudulent annual reports in 2009 and 2010 in an attempt to conceal evidence of the theft.

"For nearly two decades, this defendant systematically accepted money from the victims for prepaid funeral expenses and, instead of securing that money as required by law in order that it would be available when the person died; she used the money for her own personal use," Heck said Wednesday.

McLin also is guilty of withholding approximately $20,000 from an employee for court-ordered child support but not forwarding that money to the child support bureau as ordered.

"I wanted to try the case in front of a jury, but it was in the best interest of my client to enter a plea to reduced charges," said McLin's attorney Clyde Bennett II said in August.

Bennett said if she had been convicted on the original charges she would have faced a maximum of 40 years in prison.

Charges were first filed Feb. 12 and a warrant was issued for McLin's arrest. She turned herself in to authorities 10 days later and spent 15 days in jail before posting a $250,000 cash bond on March 8.

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