Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Former Niles funeral director says ump'ing wages won't cover restitution

Published: 10/12/17 @ 12:06

Staff report


Robert P. McDermott Sr., 55, who served nearly three years in prison for a scam involving his former Niles funeral home, is asking for leniency in paying the $500 per month he was ordered to pay in restitution.

McDermott, of Cardigan Street in Niles, was released from prison in March and has only found one type of employment since then: baseball umpiring.

“His gross [income] for the month of July was $1,175,” a motion written by his attorney, Michael Scala, to Judge Ronald Rice of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court says.

“He is simply unable to pay this $500 restitution order based on his income. He further notes that he will have no job after the baseball season concludes in September, Scala wrote in mid-August.

Judge Rice will have a hearing today to address McDermott’s motion.

McDermott pleaded guilty to 10 felony offenses for stealing at least $270,000 from about 50 customers of his former Robert P. McDermott Funeral Home in Niles and was sentenced in June 2014. He was ordered to pay restitution of $172,802.

During sentencing, Judge Rice compared McDermott’s misdeeds to running a Ponzi scheme, whereby money from new customers was used to pay for the funeral services of earlier customers.

McDermott failed to put money for prepaid funeral arrangements into insurance policies, annuities or trusts as promised, prosecutors said. About $235,000 of the $270,000 in thefts involved the elderly, prosecutors said.

Insurance companies “honored” the policies of some of the victims, paying about $110,000 to reimburse customers even though McDermott never forwarded the money to the insurance companies.

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