Cherokee funeral home hires director with criminal past: Owner currently faces several felonies

Long House Funeral Home Director Reg Moody Jr. is a convicted felon, and owner Bruce Martin Jr. has several pending child sex charges. Holly Kays photo Long House Funeral Home Director Reg Moody Jr. is a convicted felon, and owner Bruce Martin Jr. has several pending child sex charges. Holly Kays photo

The owner of Long House Funeral Home, himself facing decades in prison, has hired a convicted felon to be funeral home’s director. 

Earlier this year, the funeral home, which was founded in 2008, announced in a Facebook post that it’d hired Reginald “Reg” Moody, Jr.  to be its new director. However, Moody brings with him a sordid past as less than a decade ago, he admitted in court that he’d stolen almost $50,000 total from dozens of victims.

A document filed in February with Secretary of State Elaine Marshall’s Office states that Moody was voted onto the funeral home’s board to be its Vice President. The Facebook post announcing the news noted that Moody had “many years of experience in the funeral industry” and that he was “looking forward to serving the members of the Cherokee community and surrounding areas.”

But his felonious past is tied directly to his prior work at a family-owned funeral home in Jackson County. In November 2014, Moody pleaded guilty to two counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense and 27 misdemeanor counts related to 31 mourning family members who’d been conned out of their money after Moody had promised them grave markers and other services and then didn’t deliver. A Sylva Herald story from that time states that immediately upon pleading guilty, Moody paid $47,593.77 in restitution. He also received a suspended prison sentence and was on probation for over two years. His fraud spanned from 2006 to 2011, according to testimony in court.

“Reg took a lot from us,” one victim, who ordered a monument in February 2011 for her mother’s grave that wasn’t delivered, said in court, according to the Herald story. “He kept telling us, ‘It’s not in yet.’ He should have just said, ‘I took your money and spent it.’”

Following the guilty plea, in February 2015, the state funeral board disciplined Moody with a suspension that he’s since served out.

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According to a different story from the Sylva Herald about the suspension, the board wrote that Moody’s actions were of “moral turpitude.” Moody consented to the board’s findings and punishment.

More recently, the funeral home’s owner, Bruce Martin, has found himself in trouble as he’s been charged with multiple sex offense charges related to the alleged abuse of two preteen girls over whom court documents claim he had a position of “trust or confidence.”

Martin is now out on $700,000 bond.

In the last decade, Martin has been charged with interfering with an emergency communication, sexual battery, various assaults and traffic charges, including DWIs. He also pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a female.

Despite multiple attempts, no one from Long House Funeral Home responded to requests for comment.

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