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Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:00

Arrest comes down in case of missing headstones in Sylva

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An ongoing investigation into gravestones purchased from Moody’s Funeral Home in Sylva but never delivered to the buyers has resulted in charges against the former funeral home director.

Reginald Moody, Jr., was charged with five counts of obtaining property by false pretenses and turned himself in for arrest at the Sylva Police Department Monday. He was held at the Jackson County Detention Center on a $10,000 secure bond.

The victims reportedly paid Moody for grave markers, valuing between $200 and $2,500, but never received the head stones. At least one victim has been waiting more than two years, reported the Sylva Police Department.

Five victims, living in Jackson and Swain counties as well as Georgia, were reportedly involved in the case. But Sylva Police Department Detective Daniel Peoples, who arrested Moody, said more victims may be identified, and more charges may be forthcoming.

Moody Funeral Home has been the subject of a court-ordered financial probe for several years, stemming from a civil suit over caskets that were delivered and never paid for. The court appointed a financial auditor to scour the funeral home’s books in search of missing and hidden assets.

Court documents reveal a tangled web of shell corporations, limited liability corporations, sole proprietorships and intermingled personal and business bank accounts that succeeded in staying one step ahead of those Moody owed money to.

During the course of the court-appointed probe, more than 30 complaints came in against Moody Funeral Home in Sylva for failing to deliver on grave markers that were paid for but never delivered.

That civil probe apparently led to a criminal case against Moody.

Peoples said investigators used evidence of bank records and checks as its evidence in the charges against Moody. Peoples said another separate incident allegedly involving Moody is under investigation.

Moody Funeral Home closed last December after years of being dogged in court by collectors — for the gravestones as well as other unpaid bills. Moody resigned, and the funeral home has lost its state license.

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