FORMER FUNERAL DIRECTOR GETS 3 YEARS DOC
SALINE CO.—The former funeral director/coroner candidate whose story first appeared in full in Disclosure’s December 2009 issue has been remanded to the custody of Illinois’ Department of Corrections following sentencing today.
John B. Jones, 53, of Equality, appeared in Saline County circuit court this morning for sentencing in his multiple-count Theft conviction and was immediately taken into custody upon the order of Judge Joseph Jackson of the three-year sentencing.
With Illinois sentencing being what it is, Jones should be out in a year in a half.
Jones was charged two years ago last month with 11 felony theft counts for taking money from pre-need funeral arrangements while in the employ of Gaskins-Jones Funeral Home in Harrisburg, Many people paid the home cash for pre-need arrangements; this money was to have put into a trust account, like insurance, and held for when that person died; the funeral would then have already been paid for, sometimes a decade or more in advance of the need, thus saving the family potentially thousands of dollars, not to mention the grief of having to go through making arrangements.
He entered a plea a couple of months ago to three of the eleven charges, with sentencing set for today. When Jones is out, he’ll also be expected, as part of the plea agreement, to make restitution to some of the families: more than $48,000. Folks who know Jones have no idea how he’s going to do this, as he hasn’t been gainfully employed since the time of the stealing of the funds in 2007; and he only was keeping the job with Gaskins-Jones because he was part of the corporation and the local judges wouldn’t rule in favor of Wayne Meredith to get Jones out of the corp, which he was abusing horribly.
And when he was stealing the money, no one knows what the hell he was using it on, as it wasn’t his child support debt, which he still owes, and over which he lost his funeral director and driver’s licenses.
All totaled, he took over $11,000, and those were just the funds dating back to 2007 when the statute of limitations runs out. Since his arrest, others have come forward learning there were no pre-need funds on deposit for them, but they were just out of luck over it, as there was nothing anyone could do to recover the funds (Meredith, to his credit, did make good on many of those funerals.)
When Jones’ new mugshot from DOC comes in, we’ll bring it.
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