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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Thursday 23 Dec 21:
News Briefs for the Eve of Christmas Eve ...

Former funeral home director Michael Tomaszewski was sentenced this morning in Genesee County Court to 2 to 6 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $569,434. Tomaszewski, 49, was sentenced for stealing from his clients in one of the largest cases in Genesee County history. Tomaszewski declined to comment to the court before sentencing. Tomaszewski’s actions was described as a Ponzi scheme by both Judge Charles Zambito and the prosecution. The defense, represented by Assistant Public Defender Jerry Ader, tried to cite supporters and all the good things Tomaszewski had done and services he had provided the community. Zambito and the prosecution noted that the charges against Tomaszewski spanned the last 12 years and that Tomaszewski was using other people’s money.

Tomaszewski was arrested in July 2020 after an investigation revealed he bilked customers out of more than $500,000. He failed to provide services his clients had paid for and did not deposit money into clients’ accounts — as required by law — for prepaid funerals. The scheme lasted from March 2009 to April 2020.

Tomazewski was initially charged with 68 counts of third-degree grand larceny; 29 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny; four counts of falsifying business records; one count of scheme to defraud; one count of offering a false instrument for filing; seven counts of petit larceny; and 93 counts of failure to deposit advance funeral payments.

He was later hit with even more charges: offering a false instrument for filing and violating public health law after storing a body for 10 months in a garage at his funeral home. Tomaszewski pleaded guilty this past April to third-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and to a public health law violation for storing a body for 10 months at the funeral home.

Wednesday’s sentencing came after four previous delays, the most recent coming Dec. 7 after Tomaszewski tested positive for COVID-19.

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