Sentencing of former funeral director Michael Tomaszewski adjourned again
The sentencing of Michael Tomaszewski, the former funeral home director who faces up to seven years in prison for stealing from his clients, is now scheduled for two weeks from today in Genesee County Court. It had been scheduled for Tuesday. District Attorney Lawrence Friedman said Tuesday that the sentencing was adjourned to 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22 in Genesee County Court because Tomaszewski tested positive for COVID-19.
“They produced written documentation that he tested positive. The judge ordered that he be remanded to the jail,” Friedman said. “He showed up at the jail. He tested positive there and was quarantined. He’s going to be held until sentencing.”
The district attorney said there was no appearance in court Tuesday. Tomaszewski’s attorney, Public Defender Jerry Ader, said sentencing had been scheduled for Tuesday and COVID was the only issue that came up.
“The victims were trying to get this done and I understand that, and I feel bad that they have to wait, but these are difficult times for everybody,” he said. Tomaszewski is to be sentenced for stealing from his clients in one of the largest cases in Genesee County history. The adjournment of this week’s scheduled sentencing was the fourth adjournment.
Tomaszewski 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 last 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. He faces up to seven years in prison and is required to pay substantial restitution.
Sandra Shultz-Pfeifer of Elba had come to the courthouse Tuesday for the sentencing, to instead find out about the latest adjournment.
“I gave him two funerals before this, before I did my own,” Shultz-Pfeifer said outside the building. “I figured, after my husband passed away, that I should do something to protect my kids.”
Shultz-Pfeifer, who was there with another woman for the scheduled sentencing, said this was the first time in the last three months that they were able to come. She said they were sick of the delays.
“All of a sudden, he’s got COVID?” she said of Tomaszewski.